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Christmas Holidays: 5 Ways To Make This Holiday Your Best Ever


For many people the end of a year is a time of increased stress.

Instead of relaxing and unwinding from a busy year, the pressures of buyinggifts, travelling or spending time with long lost relatives makes it adifficult time.

In our household for example, my 4 year-old daughter's excitement levelshave been taken to new highs by performing in front of 800 people as a'teddy bear' in her first ever ballet concert.

Loaded on top of this was her Kindergarten show, this time performing therole of an 'angel' in a Nativity Play, and counting down the days to ourfour-week trip to Tasmania.

Just yesterday, she woke at 5.15 am and started packing her bags to go. Ismiled when she told me she had packed 8 videos for the trip!

Now I'm really looking forward to our holiday and spending time at FreycinetLodge on the Island's east-coast, feeling the crunch of pristine white sandunder my feet at Wineglass Bay, watching the sun set over the pink graniteoutcrops of 'The Hazards' and tasting the fresh salty tang oflocally grown pacific oysters.

But it won't be easy getting ready, packing and then travelling for 12 hourswith full luggage and 2 children under 5 years old.

Add to this the fact we're staying with relatives. So what is the solution?

Here are my Top 5 Ways to make End of Year Holidays a relaxing and stressfree time.

1. CLARIFY AND SHARE EXPECTATIONS.

Be aware of the extra pressure on families at this time of the year. Clarifywith family members what each individual wants from the break. For me, itmay be reading all those business books I didn't get time for during theyear. I know for my wife, it is getting extra help looking after thechildren and spending time together as a family. How can both these needs bemet? Use these three questions to clarify the needs and wants of others atthis busy time. What do you want? What do you dread? What will put a smileon your face?

2. PLAN, MONITOR AND BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET.

Money issues can be a big source of conflict at the end of the year. It ismeant to be a time for gift giving and sharing but it can get out of hand.Set a budget for gifts, entertainment and food. Stick to the budget andmonitor it regularly so you don't overspend.

3. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SHARE TASKS.

You can't do everything all of the time. Many people strive for perfectionat the end of the year because of the many positive and festive imagesportrayed by the media. Be realistic and work out what you can and can'tachieve. Ask for and get help. Be prepared to give up some control to sharethe load.

4. COMMUNICATE YOUR FEELINGS.

The end of the year, and in Western cultures Christmas, is an emotionaltime. Share your feelings of joy with others. If you're feeling stressed,let others know how you feel and ask for support.

5. KEEP UP YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE.

Keep doing the things you have enjoyed doing during the year, like exerciseand eating well. Take time out for yourself and your family.

2004 8M Media & Communications Thomas Murrell. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.

You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com.


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