Women are busier than ever. We wear so many hats – Christian, mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, employee, entrepreneur, student – and the list goes on and on. In trying to do everything that needs to be done, you may be left with little time for rest. Life then becomes stressful and leaves you with little joy and even less peace.

This time of year, everything gets kicked up a notch. In addition to everything else that you have to do, you’ve probably added gift shopping, family dinners, travel, holiday parties, etc. – and the list goes on. Instead of being the season of peace and joy, it can feel like the season of busy and busier.                                              

If that’s how you’re feeling right now, here are three things you can do to help you get more energy, joy, peace and balance:                                                                                     

#1 – Make Sure Your Priorities Are in Order

Yes, Christmas is right around the corner. Yes, New Years is staring you in the face. However, what matters most to you should still be a priority. Use this checklist to make sure the holidays aren’t messing with the people and things that are most important to you.

  • Pray – Ask God to tell you what your priorities should be. There are different seasons in life and it’s very important that that you’re focusing on the activities which belong in your current season.
  • Review – Review God’s Word and determine what His priorities for your life should be. The Bible has some priorities that every Christian needs to focus on. Which ones need your attention right now?
  • Inventory – Evaluate the things, people, activities and commitments that you’ve identified as a priority. Do you really have to go to all of those parties or dinners?
  • Order – Order your steps according to God’s will for your life. What steps does He want you to take daily, weekly and monthly?
  • Resist – Resist the tyranny of the urgent. Important and urgent is good; unimportant and urgent just stresses you out. Ask the Lord to show you the really important things and focus on them.
  • Input – Seek input from others. Discuss your priorities with family and/or friends. Sometimes they can see things that you can’t. God has placed wise people in your life. Talk to them and find out what really matters to them during the holidays.
  • Take – Take advantage of the time God gives you. There are only 24 hours in a day, so ask the Lord how to spend yours wisely. Ask Him to guide and direct you in the use of your time.
  • Yield – Yield your will to God. After all, He knows what’s best for you no matter what time of the year it is.

#2 – Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Titus 2:12 states that God’s grace . . .teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
There’s nothing wrong with saying “no” when your plate is full. Take all obligations and requests to the Lord in prayer. If it’s something that He wants you to do, He’ll help you and you won’t be overburdened by it.

When the Holy Spirit leads you to turn down a request or obligation, do so without feeling guilty. Keep your response simple. The more details you offer, the more there will be to potentially argue about. Simply say, “Sorry, I can’t this time.”                                               

#3 – Let Go of the Unessential

Now may not be the best time for you to add more onto your plate.

There are opportunities to do lots of fun things, good things during the holiday season. But are they a real priority for your life right now? You don’t have to try to do it all. Ask the Lord what you can let go of until another time.                                                                                                                      

That old cliché, Jesus is the reason for the season, really is true. This time of year is a time to celebrate His birth and your relationship with Him. He doesn’t ask you to stress out or overwhelm yourself with things like finding the perfect dress for a party you’re invited to or planning the perfect menu for the family dinner you’ve invited everyone to your home for.

You don’t have to put expectations on yourself that take your focus off the One who this season is all about. When you keep your priorities in order, say no without guilt and let go of the unessential, you’ll be able to do just that.