Written by Julie Morris

For business owners and busy professionals, any time of year can be stressful, but when the holidays roll around the stress and anxiety can be overwhelming. This is often the busiest time of year for many businesses, and most professionals find themselves struggling to get their end-of-the-year to-do list taken care of while accomplishing holiday tasks at the same time. Parties, entertaining guests, shopping for gifts, and cooking are all very time- consuming, making us feel pressed for even a moment to ourselves.

It’s important to be prepared before the holiday season comes knocking. Being organized and having a plan will help you use your time wisely and keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and it’s also a good idea to carve time out of your busy schedule just for yourself. Taking time to practice self-care will ensure that your body and mind don’t go neglected during these stressful months.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Get organized

Start with a good plan and write it down, then work from there. Use a calendar or planner to mark down important events along with the dates and times, and block off time to go grocery shopping, gift shopping, and wrap presents. It may seem silly to write down every single task, but having it there in black and white in front of you will help you see where your time goes and allow you to manage it better.

Simple is sometimes best

If you’ll be entertaining this year, forgo the urge to make your home look like a perfect Pinterest photo and focus on small, simple, elegant touches instead. It’s tempting to want to create a beautiful space for your holiday party, but going all out will only add more to your workload and create additional stresses.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance when you start to feel overwhelmed. If a work project is becoming too much for you to handle alone, ask your boss to assign someone to help you out or ask a coworker to step in. When your holiday to-do list gets out of control, ask your spouse or the kids to tackle one or two tasks to ease some of the burdens off your shoulders.

Get some rest

Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re a business owner, chances are you’re not getting as much as you’d like. Make it a point to stop all work-related activity at a certain time each night; after that, it’s only personal time until bed. Read, take a hot bath, and stay away from television and computer screens for at least an hour before you lie down, as they can keep you up.

Exercise daily

It may seem difficult to get in a workout when you’re already busy, but staying active is a good way to beat stress, elevate your mood, and keep your body healthy during these long days. Take 20 or 30 minutes of your lunch break to walk briskly around the block, or run up and down the stairs in your home. Get your heart rate up and remember to stay hydrated, and you’ll thank yourself later.