Halloween is over, which means it is practically time for your office to close down for the Christmas Holiday. Which can bring on a lot of emotional and financial stress. But it isn’t too late to get your life in order to be fully prepared to manage all the challenges that the holidays can bring.
I am getting prepped to take on the financial and emotional stress that comes with the holidays and I am sharing my game plan with you.
Get Prepped for Financial Stress
The last 2 months of the year brings on a lot of financial challenges. And while I wish I could get my kids everything on their list and attend every party I am invited to, my wallet has different plans. Here are some useful tips to get your money in order to survive the holidays.
#1 Evaluate Your Bills
Cancel all the subscriptions you don’t need. This includes:
- Home phone
- Gym membership
- Subscription services like Stitch Fix
- Any Apps that have a recurring monthly charge.
Call your other bills and defer or ask to temporarily lower payments, this includes:
- Car Payment
- Student Loans
- Credit Cards
- Cell Phone
Call your insurance companies (Home, Renters, Car & Health) and ask if there are any ways to lower your policy. If not, start shopping around.
#2 Find Extra Income
Look for additional ways to make money this holiday seasnon.
- Ask your dentist for ways to make some extra cash – Offer to do a deep DEEP clean of the office. Or Inventory. Or any of these awesome ideas.
- Temp – If your office is only open 4 days a week, temp on your day off or if you really need the extra cash, pick up a Saturday temp shift. Set up your DirectDental profile, input your temp availability and make sure to respond quickly when a temp request comes your way.
- Babysitting – When in doubt, go back to the basics. Offer your services online through your community Facebook group or your Nextdoor app. Or even join a babysitting website like SitterCity.
- Food delivery/Groceries – Even with inflation, people are still ordering their groceries online. You can do this on evenings and weekends to pick up some extra cash.
#3 Shop smart
I’m used to shopping at one grocery store and I just buy what I need. But after buying a loaf of bread for $8, I decided I need to start looking for deals. So now I actually pay attention to the junk mail that comes in so I can see what groceries stores are having deals. Then I hop on over to get the necessities my family needs at a lower price. Yes it takes more time and yes it is slightly inconvenient, but my pocket book is happier.
#4 Ask for a raise
Unfortunately, your employer is also feeling the squeeze of inflation and the holidays, but if they want to keep you they might have to work with you and bring your pay up. Here is a post on how to ask for a raise.
#5 Find work closer to home
In this job market, work is super easy to find for Dental Assistants, Hygienist and Front Office Dental Personnel. So if your commute to work is taking a big chunk of money out of your pocket, it might be time to find something closer to home.
Simply head to DirectDental and search for jobs in your zip code. Apply to the ones you like and then make sure you negotiate a nice pay rate.
Get Prepped for Emotional Stress
Now that we reviewed some options to help remove some financial stress, let’s talk about emotional stress. This one used to get me every year, until about 3 years ago when I go really good at saying No.
These are some of the things I say “No” to during the holidays. Some might sound a tad extreme but hear me out.
#1 No to People
If you are around people that make you feel anything but awesome, do yourself a favor and stop hanging out with them. Your time is too limited, so open up space for you and the people you truly love to be around by declining invites from persons who don’t make you feel your best.
#2 No to social activities
My FOMO can be a bit much, but when I do too many things, it is too overwhelming to handle. So, I set my limit to 2 social outings a weekend and 1 during the week. Anything beyond that just drains me and makes me too tired for my family.
#3 No to doing too much in a day
As dental professionals, we make breakfast, take the kids to daycare, work on our feet for 8+ hours a day, pick up the kids, cook dinner, and clean. Somewhere in there, we are supposed to find time to work out and spend time with our family and friends.
So I evaluated my day and figured out how to cut back.
Chores were divided between my husband and me, so I only have to do dishes every other day. In addition, I started using a meal prep service (cheaper than grocery shopping and comes with weight loss benefits), so I no longer have to cook.
These two small changes give me an extra hour + every night.
Try to find ways you can cut something out of your to-do list.
#4 No to social media and the news
This is a recent limit I set. But it turns out ignorance truly is bliss. While I like to stay informed, I chose to stay off of social media and the news 3 evenings a week and every night 2 hours prior to bedtime. I find that I feel more relaxed and sleep better on the days I stay in my happy bubble and away from social media and the news.
#5 No to too much sugar
It is so easy to over do sugar during the holidays. I mean, you only get these treats this time of the year. But as of late too much sugar makes me feel so sick. And I try to remember that when I go to reach for my second cookie. I find when I say no to sugar I feel much better both physically and mentally.
#6 No to working with jerks
If you find yourself unhappy in your current work situation, you should leave.
Think about it, you spend about one-third of your waking hours working (feels like so much more than that), and it simply isn’t worth it to be miserable. Especially when dental professionals are in such high demand. So… head to DirectDental and create your profile. You can start applying to jobs right away, and you can temp until you find your perfect office!
Now that you know all about limits let’s talk about the tools you will need to master these new limits you set for yourself.
Learn to say “no” without guilt:
The only good thing I can think of that came out of the pandemic is that saying “no” is now socially acceptable. So work off of that. If guilt starts to set in, remember that sticking with your limits allows you to be a better person.
Learn to ask for help:
Setting limits is hard if you continue to try to do everything on your own. Tell your husband and kids that you can’t do the dishes every night and assign daily chores to them (I promise the 2 weeks of nagging is worth the eventual time off you get), or set up a daycare carpool with another daycare mom so you don’t have to do drop off and pick up everyday! If you have a family member you can delegate to or a friend you can trade chores with, do it!
Take the time to simplify and implement:
My biggest struggle with self-care and setting limits was that it actually takes a lot of time and work. So it may seem more exhausting to set limits than to just continue to do all the work. But that isn’t true. The best thing I did was write down everything I did in a single workday. Once I had that in front of me, I knew what I could delegate out and where I could find extra “me” time in my day.
There you have it. My Dental Professionals Holiday Prep Guide. I truly hope you can implement some of these and finally get to truly enjoy this very stressful time of year.