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Heading into the holidays: feeling cheerful or stressed?

Tonight I drove through the neighborhood and noticed most of my neighbors already have their Christmas lights up. It made me tense. I should feel festive seeing Rudolph and his twinkling nose on my neighbor's lawn. But no, I'm thinking about the holiday parties ahead, gift wrapping and shopping, charitable donations, and my childcare needs during winter break. Does anyone else feel stressed? 

HeatherCabot_YahooTo curb your stress and find a healthy work life balance heading into the holidays,  Yahoo! Web Life Expert Heather Cabot suggests you use technology efficiently and allow yourself to unplug. (According to a recent Yahoo! survey, 40 percent don’t think they could get through the holiday season without technology)Here are some tips Heather shares for better work life balance.


I'm going to try tip #3. Which will you try?


  1. Craft a Clever Auto-Message: If you take time off from work, set up an auto- reply and be very specific about when you should be contacted.  Take a cue from this message that went viral because it was so blunt .http://gizmo.do/p93gu3!
  2. Suspend Your Subscriptions: Just like you used to cancel the newspaper delivery before you went away on vacation, do the same thing with social media alerts and e-newsletters.
  3. Track Your Holiday Shopping In One Place:Make use of tools that automatically collect your online shopping receipts so you don’t lose track of your spending OR the record of what you bought Aunt Hilda this year (so you won’t buy her the same scarf next year!). 
  4. Crowd Source Your Scrapbook: While you are uploading all those photos of merry making, give special family members and friends access to your albums so they can pick and choose the photos they want for themselves.
  5. Think Before You Send, Especially on December 23rd:Avoid the temptation to tackle your inbox by responding or sending a lot of email. Typically for every email you send, you can expect double the responses in return (thank you, FW, RE, CC and BCC). 
  6. Prune your Inbox - Un-subscribe from bacon. This is not SPAM. Bacon is email you opted to receive (maybe inadvertently), including deal offers, news about products, coupons, etc. If you don't read it, take your name off the mailing list.  If you do, create a folder for it.
  7. Clear Your Screen - If you have apps on your smart phone that you haven't used in months, delete them.  Start the new year with a less cluttered screen. Do the same with your desktop or laptop. File documents, apps and photos away.  
  8. Transfer Photos - Don't let all of those precious holiday shots you take with your smart phone or digital camera get lost in the archives. Take the time to transfer your old photos to your computer and/or upload them to a photo sharing site like Flickr. Don't forget to label as you go.