Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Holiday Stress Syndrome; 8 Steps to a Speedy Recovery

OK...I don't know if there is such a thing as Post Holiday Stress Syndrome, but there should be a name for the craziness in my household that takes place from December 26th up until around my birthday. (That's January 9th if you're taking notes. We won't talk about how old I'll be.)I don't typically get too stressed before or during the holidays. It's the aftermath that usually hits me hardest. Not only are things more out-of-sorts with all of the stuff, but there's something a little depressing to me about the un-decking of the halls, so I tend to procrastinate with this task. I have learned a few tricks over the past few years that have helped me recuperate more quickly. Here's my 8 Step Recovery Process to help curb that Post Holiday Stress Syndrome:

  • Go through clothing, toys and other household goods before the gift-giving season hits to reduce and eliminate unwanted or unused items and prevent overload. (Sorry...ummm, maybe you can use that one next year!)

  • Set up a large box or plastic bin for each family member to separate and store their unwrapped gifts while in transit and until they find their permanent spot. Once emptied, use the plastic totes to store holiday decorations or off season clothing.

  • Plan upcoming menus using holiday leftovers and freeze some meals for those evenings over the next few weeks when cooking is out of the question.

  • Break down the post-holiday clean up into steps. Work on one small project at a time, like un-decorating and putting away the holiday dishes.

  • Spread the cheer. While leaving your Christmas tree up until February may be a little embarrassing, snowmen until St. Patty's Day (at least in some climates) isn't completely out of the realm of possibilities. Work on putting away the most season specific items first, then move on to less distinctive decorations.

  • If holiday overspending has got you down, the best way to face it is head on. It's time to review your budget and determine how much extra you can apply to pay toward your outstanding balances until they are paid off. Better to tighten the belt now for a few months than to still be paying on holiday bills this time next year.

  • If you have multiple credit cards, once one is paid off, apply that regular payment to another card in addition to what you were already paying. You'll multiply your efforts and get rid of debt even quicker. (This tip works great all year round!)

  • Finally, take some time for yourself. This time of the year can be just as stressful as the holidays themselves, if not more. We're all so busy this time of year, we often forget ourselves. It's a great time to take up a new hobby, start an exercise program, curl up with a good book or just catch up with friends.

Taken as prescribed, these tips will help you make a full recovery, with little or no side effects. Care should be taken as some of these tips (especially the last one) can be habit forming and should be used under the supervision of at least one other person for the maximum benefit. Use of alcohol and exposure to direct sunlight are optional and could possibly intensify (or inhibit) the effects of the recovery process. Individual results may vary.

1 comment:

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Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.