With the holiday season nearly upon us and in order to plan your activity in readiness for it, I have written a series of tips to help you on your way.

A good deal of stress comes from lack of preparation and being organised is the key to ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable couple of weeks. So use the list and tick things off as you go.

  • Tip 1: Going away abroad for Christmas. Have you ordered your foreign currency? Don't leave it until the last minute. Who will water the plants feed the fish and look after the house?
  • Tip 2: Give yourself a target to lose the ‘X' number of pounds that you will probably put on over the holiday period. Lose it now and then you will have some kilos in hand! Don't even think about procrastinating!
  • Tip 3: Children soon breaking-up for holidays. What jobs do you need to do before they are at home 24/7? Save time and energy by setting tasks in order of priority. Less stress and certainly more smiles!
  • Tip 4: Finished buying presents or are you going to be a last-minute stressed-out shopper? Order online to save travelling to the shops and ask everyone what they want. Easier than them having to return goods afterwards! There is still time!
  • Tip 5: Having people over on Christmas day? Have your forgotten anyone? Some relatives or neighbours may be lonely. This is a time to put any past quarrels to one side and move on. It can be lonely time for many as well as fun for others.
  • Tip 6: Make a time to wrap your presents and don't leave it to the last moment. Have you bought the wrapping paper and cello tape? Do you need to buy any boxes for sending presents abroad?
  • Tip 7: Entertaining at home? Have you got in everything you need? Try and avoid the queues to save your stress levels. Shop early is the key to good stress management.
  • Tip 8: Get writing those last-minute cards. You have no time to waste! And don't forget that ecards or epostcards are a great way of keeping in touch.
  • Tip 9: Clear the house. Tidy your office at home. Tidy the kitchen and the living room and your bedroom wardrobes. If you havn't worn something for over two years — it is time to take it to the charity shop! Decluttering can make you feel really good!
  • Tip 10: Christmas party to go to? Make sure you don't regret your behaviour and indiscretions when you get back to the office! You still have to work with the boss and your colleagues in January! Office parties are still office activities, even though they may not take place on the premises.
  • Tip 11: Flying off somewhere? Don't forget to turn off your mobile phone and voice mail service. It's very expensive to pick-up calls when abroad! Call the credit card companies to tell them you will be away. Travel insurance up to date? Get your list together of things to take with you.
  • Tip 12: Laying the table for family and guests? Last minute things to do? Go through your check-list. Just ticking things off is very satisfying! Serviettes, table cloth and have you got enough cutlery and chairs!
  • Tip 13: Enjoy the festivities with friends or family. But spare a thought for others who may be lonely. Maybe pop into your neighbour with a home-made offering. If you've eaten too much, go for a 30-minute walk. If you have nothing to do, then maybe give your time to a charity or your local community. They will benefit and so will you!
  • Tip 14: Use your holiday time effectively so that your body can recharge its battery. How about going through your photographs and putting them into order on your computer and make sure they are all backed up!

The holiday period, like any other, needs planning and it is a good opportunity to tick those entries off of your ‘nice to do' list. Those are the things that you never really get round to doing, so why not make this time of the year, an enjoyable, satisfying time and stress-free!