stress vs. relaxed balls in a pyramid

It's the Most Wonderful--and Most Stressful--Time of the Year!

Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP

Heart-Centered Career Transition Coach | Possibility Thinking | Job Search Guide to Burnt-Out Teachers and Professionals


Ahhh...November. The clocks have been set back, and most of us were gifted an extra hour this past weekend.

Carols are already playing throughout every store from now until the end of December.

Party invitations will start to fill your mailbox.

Even as we prepare for Thanksgiving in just a few weeks, it's time for holiday gift shopping, holiday card sending, and family get-togethers which may involve planning travel itineraries.

It's great, right?

Perhaps it would be nicer if we could set aside our "regular" lives and routines while we substituted all of the holiday activity for the last couple months of the year. But alas, that's not going to happen. Instead, we have to add holiday activities and responsibilities on top of our already over-busy, over-stressed lives.

Holidays are a wonderful part of every year, but planning for them and executing them with any sort of ease and grace may feel elusive depending on what else you have going on in your life. 

Life doesn't just stop for any of us while we prepare for the holidays.

I know this particularly well. For example, back in 2005, part of my holiday planning involved moving out of the marital home. I had decided I could no longer live with my then husband. I had come to the painful conclusion that the marriage needed to be dissolved. That meant that I needed to live somewhere else. As a teacher, I felt like the only time to make a major move like that would be either over the holiday break or during the summer. I hadn't decided to divorce my husband until the end of the summer of 2005. That meant hanging on and making covert plans for the holiday break.

I was also going to graduate school during this time. (I was winding up coursework on my doctorate.)

And, of course, ironically, in spite of all this personal upheaval, there were still holiday get-togethers with family and friends to consider.

Part of the preparation for my move included setting up a secret bank account and stashing money into it so when it was time to make my break, I could afford to move. I was also finding odd moments to look at different apartment complexes, trying to decide where I could live. Not being a person who keeps secrets easily, I felt guilty about all that stealth activity. Needless to say, all of that covert activity added to my stress level.

I share all of this by way of saying that we all have stress in our lives no matter what may be going on, and adding holiday planning on top it all can make it feel almost unbearable.

Regardless of your occupation or personal circumstances, you may feel like you have way too much going on. 

to do list with everything written on a dry erase board

I get it. Been there, done that.


So, what do you do with all the added stress and activity of the season?

Well, one thing is to recognize that this is an extra busy time of year, and adopt some coping mechanisms to help you get through it all.

That's why I am going to be offering a 7-week mini-course on "Stress Management During the Holidays."

I will be releasing more information about it in the next few days, so please stay tuned.

And, feel free to share that information with friends and family members who may have a lot going on right now. They may find this course helpful to them.

So, watch out for more in the next few days.

Until then.

Vanessa Jackson
Phoenix Rising Coaching
1541 Flaming Oak
New Braunfels Texas 78132
United States of America