What could be more stressful than a job that has a 357 day build up and then lasts just one night? A job that involves huge near-impossible physical output, wild environmental conditions, high stress and has the hopes and dreams of millions of children around the world riding on your performance? Yes, being one of Santa's reindeer is a tough job.
I consulted Santa's reindeer and they shared some stress-reducing advice. Things that they have learned over the years to minimize their holiday stress and things that we would be well advised to keep in mind.
Tip # 1 Don't do it Alone: All of the reindeer agreed that preparing for the holiday season has to involve a team effort. If you are trying to pull the sleigh all alone you are going to get exhausted pretty quickly. Who can help you decorate? Bake? Buy gifts? Send cards? Ask for support.
Tip # 2 Slow Down: The "more hurry, less speed" tip came from Dasher, who told me that there he was much more effective when he was reined in. A lot of energy is wasted when our energy becomes a frantic rush to get to the next thing. Consciously slow yourself down - reduce your speed, and wherever you are, remember to breathe.
Tip # 3 Strategically schedule: Blitzen said that rather than setting a schedule that has constant high levels of activity over several days that create exhaustion and burnout, it is wiser to strategically schedule "blitzes" of activity that happen at your optimum physical and mental times. For many working folk, the weekends are the time to get all of their "errands" done. Consequently, weekends tend to become more exhausting than the workweek. Try this. Schedule high output activity to end at lunchtime Saturday and then schedule in a nap to refresh you for the latter half of the day. Do a blitz, and then relax.
Tip # 4 Remember what's important: Cupid of course reminded me that this holiday season is all about love. Bob Hope once said: "My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
Tip # 5 Hold a "Fun" Intention: If you consciously held a one word intention of "FUN" as you popped out of bed each morning over the holidays, how could that inform and positively affect your activity that day? "Try it"! advises the fun-loving Dancer!
Tip # 6 Remember how special you are:
Rudolph reminds us to focus on our unique gifts and how we best contribute to this world and to ignore what everyone else is doing. You may not be here to struggle with the making of shortbread. You may, be here instead, to lead the singsong around the piano. What is your unique contribution? Rudolph found out that his shiny red nose was his gift. Keep your main thing your main thing!
Tip # 7 Hire a Cleaner: Of course that piece of advice came from Comet! Don't waste one minute of this magical season with cleaning supplies in your hands...instead, go on outside and toss some snowballs with the kids.