Holiday stress kills the joy of Christmas.

And I feel it every December, as I’m staying up late putting together cards or buying gifts.

Of course, the holidays are fun and magical. It’s a beautiful time to be together! BUT…

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We also have extra obligations and responsibilities. Furthermore, we put TONS of pressure on ourselves to make the time special for our families. And sometimes our expectations are unrealistic.

As a result, it can feel more like a crazy sprint than a sweet memory building time.

So, today I’m looking out for your mental health. I’ve got easy things to do in November, so that it eases the burden later.

Then, you’ll have more time to focus on what matters: those family and friends you love. Isn’t that what the holidays are SUPPOSED to be about?

14 Things To Do In November

These November things to do are in no particular order and are all helpful in different ways to relieve overwhelm next month.

1. GET AHEAD ON GIFTS

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First, focus on how you can simplify gifts this year. Instead of buying for everyone, could you draw names? Share an experience together? Do a White Elephant Exchange? Or drop some gifts altogether?

Second, make a list of people you need gifts for.

Third, shop NOW. Or at least brainstorm ideas now. I get my December birthdays done in November, as well as presents I know I’ll need every year for Christmas. That means kid pajamas and an ornament for the friend exchange are done early.

2. PLAN QUICK & EASY MEALS

Being healthy is so stinking HARD during the holidays. Even when we aren’t at events, I’m too tired and busy to cook much.

So, gather a list of quick and healthy meal ideas. Stick it on the fridge for those busy nights ahead when you need something simple!

Related Posts: 21 Quick & Healthy Weeknight Dinners In Under 45 Minutes, 21 of the Best Healthy Fall Recipes

3. MAKE FREEZER MEALS

Now take that meal planning a step further! Double a few dinners in November or get a group of friends together for a freezer meal party or swap.

You won’t regret those meals when you’re spending the night making gingerbread houses instead of cooking. 🙂

Related Post: How To Organize A Freezer Meal Party

4. DO CARDS BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS

Take family or pet photos, and make cards before Thanksgiving. Those cards will be ready to send out at a moment’s notice, and your holiday stress will be long gone.

5.DECLUTTER

The holidays always bring lots of new STUFF, so make room NOW.

Spend some time making a “garage sale” or “Goodwill” pile. Cleaning out ahead of time keeps you from feeling overwhelmed when you add in your new goodies.

Related Post: 21 Ways To Simplify Your Life, Right Now

6. CONSIDER YOUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

We live for these this time of year. Those unique activities that bring us together and strengthen our bonds.

Think and plan ahead for the holiday traditions you want to do with your family. What can you do to prep? What will you need to buy for them? Mark down when you will start them. If you’d love holiday tradition ideas, check out my new ebook – The Ultimate Guide To Family Traditions!

It has 257 tradition ideas for major holidays, birthdays, etc. plus tons of bonuses! You’ll have a quick and easy reference when planning ahead!

7. STOCK UP

Decide on the food you want to make for the holidays NOW and keep an eye out for sales.

We make the same incredible dairy-free artichoke dip for holiday gatherings, so I just bought a huge bag of cashews on sale. Not only does this save money, but I’ll have less to buy later when EVERYONE is out at the stores.

*The same applies to alcoholic beverages! Often, you can find coupons to your local liquor store and stock up at one time.

8. PREP THE HOUSE

Deep cleaning and household projects never get done in December. It’s a given.

So, fix that broken cabinet. Or clean out the oven. Complete any honey-do tasks in November so they aren’t nagging you later when you’re about to have 20 people over.

9. FIND THE MONEY

There’s no doubt about it, the holidays are expensive.

So, decide now (while there’s less temptation) how much money you’re devoting to holiday spending, and figure out where that money is coming from.

Short on cash? Try a one-week spending freeze! Buy nothing for 7 days (or only fresh produce). No eating out. No Starbucks. No impulse purchases. Make due with what you have. It’s only for 7 days!

After, use the money saved as your holiday fund! We all spend money without thinking, so you may be SHOCKED at how much you can save with just one week. Do this freeze in November, and you’ll be so much better off for the holidays!

10. PREPARE TO DELEGATE

The holiday work is often put squarely on mom’s shoulders. Which, seems a little unfair, no?

So, think NOW about what tasks others can do to pitch in. Can your husband be in charge of purchasing certain gifts? Or can he make that special side dish HE loves on Thanksgiving? Could you give the kids clean up jobs on Thanksgiving or Christmas to ease your burden?

Related Post: 11 Time Valuable Time Management Tools For Successful Women

11. CONSIDER YOUR SCHEDULE

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We often overcommit during the holidays. So, when in doubt, simplify.

Glance ahead at the calendar. Now, plan some amazing holiday activities, but be sure to schedule time in between for downtime!

Additionally, December is not the time to commit to more kids’ extracurriculars or extra work responsibilities. In November, look ahead at your calendar to make sure you don’t schedule anything unnecessary. Those things you want to do will still be around in January.

12. GIVE EARLY

Oh gosh, I know the holiday season is the time for giving, but it’s usually too much for me to process with everything else going on.

So make November the time to discuss holiday giving and do it early before the hustle and bustle arrives.

13. CREATE A SICK KIT

Ugh, flu season. Whether we like it or not it usually starts around November and December. And we’ve got enough going on at this time as it is. So, take a few minutes to read the following post and prepare your own flu season survival kit.

The Winter Sick Kit: How to be Prepared for Flu Season

14. MAKE LISTS

Finally, make a few lists based on all of the above suggestions! Start “to buy,” “to do/make” and “to plan” lists RIGHT NOW.

Just getting organized will ease the holiday tension later.

Something To Think About

Make this holiday season DIFFERENT.

In December, be less worried about what you need to do and more into the smiles on your loved ones’ faces. Actually HAVE the kind of holiday season you’ve been dreaming about with these November things to do.

Cheers to a fabulous, stress-free time of year!

And, don’t forget the ebook when planning for the holidays! This is one essential piece to a relaxed and fun holiday season. Get it HERE!

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What do you think? What are other things to do in November to overcome holiday stress?

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