If anything our 40 years as master cabinetry makers and designers has taught us at Holland’s Custom Cabinets, it’s that major remodeling projects in the home or at your place of business can add stress regardless of the time of year. Factor the holiday season into any renovation, and it’s certain that stress will follow.
Whether you’ve decided to dip your toes into a remodeling project over the holidays or not, the keys to conquering the chaos remain the same. Here, based on our experiences with the thousands of projects we’ve managed over the years, plus maintaining our own holiday traditions with friends and family, are a few tried and true tips for keeping it together over the holidays:
Stay Organized. Nowadays, everyone is busy, regardless of the time of year. For some reason, though, the holidays always seem busier. Perhaps it’s because we’re trying to juggle regular responsibilities with holiday-related activities. With all that activity, you need to stay focused and stay organized. If you don’t already, keep a calendar of where you need to be and when. Make a list each day of what you need to get done or what you need to start. Set alarms on your smartphone. It’s tough to rely on memory alone when things get hectic.
Get Sleep. Proper rest can help you stay focused and ready for any challenges that come your way, holiday-related or not. Of course, getting enough sleep during the holidays is a challenge, what with family gatherings, work parties, and outings with friends. While you don’t want to miss out on the fun, know how much sleep you need each night and make sure you get it. The best advice is to go to bed when you’re tired, don’t drink too much alcohol, and try to stick to a schedule. The Mayo Clinic recommends healthy adults aim for about seven hours of sleep each night.
Don’t Procrastinate. Prepare for scheduled events and gatherings well ahead of time. Shop for gifts early. Get those special food items when you see them in the grocery store. Nothing ruins holiday cheer more than having to scramble for gifts or special ingredients as the last minute.
Know Your Limits. Most of us will never admit it, but we can’t do it all, no matter how much we try or how much we want to. Likewise, we can’t be all things to all people. Maybe hosting that gathering of 30 family members is just too much for you this year, especially if your kitchen is undergoing and overhaul. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn? If you’ve been invited to six different family and friends holiday gatherings, maybe three is enough. If you are hosting a large family meal, perhaps a potluck or buffet style affair will suffice, rather than you cooking up a seven-course meal with all the fixings. They key is to know your limits and abide by them.
Don’t Overdo It. Speaking of limits, it’s very easy during the holidays to overdo just about everything. People tend to overeat, drink too much, stay up too late, spend too much, and just try to do too much. Overdoing it not only has short-term effects like feeling so overstuffed with food you can’t move or suffering the ill effects of too much holiday cheer. In the long-term, it can drain your energy reserves, sour your mood, and even lower immunity. Remember, all things in moderation.
Set Reasonable Expectations. Setting proper expectations for what you want to get out of an experience, holiday-related or not, can go a long way toward ensuring your happiness. While you undoubtedly want everything to go perfectly for every activity you engage in over the holidays, problems are bound to pop up. Is it really the end of the world if the crust on your holiday pies are a little overcooked, or if you didn’t get the exact gift you wanted? What if your favorite aunt or uncle can’t visit this year because schedules just don’t line up, or old man winter failed to make an appearance, so there’s no mountain skiing on the agenda? It’s OK to be disappointed, but don’t let disappointments ruin your holidays. Be grateful for all the things that do go right. Check out more on this topic from Psychology Today.
Communicate Your Needs to Others. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, let others know at home or at work. Don’t assume everyone around you is a mind reader. For example, if a project has you snowed under at the office, talk with your supervisor about juggling priorities or extending deadlines. At home, if you need your spouse or partner to pitch in by picking up the kids or doing the grocery shopping, ask. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Most often, those around us are more than happy to help!
Have Fun. This is perhaps the most important tip of all. The holidays are supposed to be fun, a time to gather with friends, family, and colleagues to enjoy each other’s company however you choose. If you go to a party, go with the intention of enjoying yourself (but don’t overdo it – see above!). Engage in the moment, whether it’s catching up with old friends, playing party games, or simply enjoying some good food and drink. Most of all, focus on what’s good in your life and the things for which you are most grateful.
Whether it’s before, during, or after the holidays, Holland’s is here for you. Sure, we’ll be taking some time over the holidays to enjoy time with friends and family, but we’re always eager to talk shop about how you can remake your bathroom, kitchen, home office, living room, garage, or commercial space to better suit your storage needs. Contact us today online or call us at 619.443.6081. Happy Holidays!