Want holidays to include more joy and less stress?


ThirdPath Institute, partner of Take Back Your Time, helps men and women – as parents and leaders – find new ways to "redesign" work so they have more time for their families, communities and other life passions. Over the last 15 years, we've also spent time helping families rethink the holidays so they include more joy and less stress.

On our December "Thursdays with ThirdPath" webinar we talked with two experts about the added stress everyone experience around the holidays. These two experts work with individuals and couples to help them find more joy and less stress in their lives. They also try to "walk the talk" during the holidays, and they are long-time ThirdPath community members.

Take a look at some of the questions they discussed. We're guessing they may help you find more holiday joy and less stress too.

Work and Time Off - December is a good month to set some limits around how much time you spend at work. How demanding is work in December? How much time can you take off? Do you need to work over the holidays? What can you do differently around work and taking time off next year?

Gift Giving - It's easy to get caught up in gift giving and buy more than planned – sometimes putting a strain on our budgets and values. It also takes time to buy gifts, including helping relatives know what gifts to give. What are you enjoying most about gift giving this year? What would you like to change?

Other Holiday Expectations - Creating holiday cards, putting up holiday decorations, attending holiday events – at work, with friends, and at your children's schools – can all require a lot of time over the holidays. Which ones do you enjoy the most? Are there any you would like to skip next year?

Family Time and Family Traditions - The most important part of the holidays is creating time with our families. Which family traditions create the most fun and cause the least stress? Are there any that could be simplified or maybe even crossed off the list next year?

Holiday Planning - The fantasy is that holidays magically happen. The truth is: advance planning helps us focus on what is most important. It also helps us find ways to share the work load. Who can be part of your planning team and how can you work together to create more joy and less stress?

One of the best holiday gifts you can give yourself is to take 20 minutes after the holidays to write down your thoughts. Next year, revisit your list as you plan for holidays 2016! Want a free copy of ThirdPath's holiday planner? Email us at: Time4Life(at)ThirdPath.org ... Subject: Send me the Holiday Joy planner! This simple worksheet can help you keep track of what worked well this holiday season. Then you can pull it out next November as you plan for the next round!

Jessica DeGroot is the founder and Executive Director of the Third Path Institute in Philadelphia