Where are the elves when you need them?


The holidays turn Triangle women into human verbs. We shop, wrap, organize, clean, cook, bake, decorate...the list of activities is seemingly endless.


While the joy of the season is good for you, the stress of having too much to do is bad. How to cope?


Take a deep breath. There are effective tools that can help minimize and even eliminate many sources of stress. Chief among them: Recognize that you don't have to be perfect. Your house doesn't have to be perfect. Your kids don't have to be perfect.


Make a list of your priorities and focus on them. Put your attention on the big things that really matter rather than the small stuff that doesn't.


Let go of the details that don't count in the grand scheme of things. No one will notice if the wreath isn't hanging just so on your door. Nobody will care if the Hanukkah gelt isn't tied up in a pretty blue bow.


Switching your attention away from the little things gives you space to concentrate on what matters most, such as sharing occasions with loved ones and enjoying rare moments of me-time.


It's important to limit your commitments to things you can reasonably get done. Set realistic goals and pace yourself. Being overextended is a common stressor. Give yourself permission to say no to something you really don't want to do.


If there's too much on your plate, be sure to delegate tasks to others. Don't be a martyr – request assistance. You'd be surprised at how quickly people will pitch in when asked. After all, it is the giving season.


Finally, just because the holidays are here doesn't mean you must be cheery and bright all the time. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be in a fabulous mood 24/7.


Send stress packing and add joy to the world.