Holiday Stress Relief


In her #1 Best-selling self-help book, “ClutterBusting For Busy Women; How To Create A C.A.L.M. Life To Have More Time & Energy,” Virginia Barkley offers a simple four-step plan to get and stay organized.

“As 21st Century women, we are constantly bombarded with the message that we can do it all. It is our responsibility to define the priorities in our lives. Otherwise, our lives are going to be driving us in circles instead of toward more purpose-filled destinations,” said Barkley, a motivational speaker for busy women.

“The key is keeping yourself focused on the outcome you want, rather than getting caught up in the drama of the moment. Drama wastes time and devours energy,” said Barkley, who accepts a limited amount of speaking engagements per year.

“The fewer things we choose to juggle, the greater the quality of our days as we invest more time in rewarding pursuits,” she said.

To download a free chapter of her book, go to

Here are four tips from her ABCs of ClutterBusting that can reduce the holiday frenzy.

  • K is for KICK to the curb the habit of impulse buying. One of the dangers of holiday shopping is convincing ourselves that it’s just as easy to pick up a few things for ourselves while we’re out and about. While it might be true in a few cases, what often happens is that we rationalize those purchases that we don’t need because we are caught up in the endorphin high of shopping. Stop before buying new things and ask yourself two questions; what is this item replacing and where am I going to put it?
  • P is for PRACTICE self-care. Remember to put yourself on the list and give yourself the gift of free time to relax, catch your breath, and enjoy the season. It’s imperative to mark this time on your calendar so that nothing else will come along and fill the slot. When we’re exhausted it takes twice as long to get anything done, so taking a break is saving you time and energy in the long run. The best time to take a break is when you don’t think you have time to take a break; take it anyway and watch what happens.
  • Q is for QUIET any thoughts that try to pull you away from your holiday goals. We can only do so much. The buck stops at the calendar. Write a list of all the things you want to do and then put each activity on a certain day. If you’ve written more DO’s than there are days left in which to do them, then release the least important items and stick to the most important goal of the season which is to remain calm, confident, and celebrating all the things you did accomplish. The fact is that only you will know what you decided not to do!
  • E is for EVALUATE. Look at your list and think about one thing you could give to everyone instead of racing around trying to find the perfect thing for every friend. A huge category of clutter is the gifts from friends that we’ve never taken out of the box but keep on hand in case they drop by. Remember that it’s the thought not the thing that counts. Enlist the economies of scale theory and reduce the time, energy and cost of gifts by increasing the level of producing one thing. Her personal favorites are mini lemon pound cakes and pepper jelly.

She believes that clutter starts growing when we allow a part of us to shut down – and that stuck energy manifests itself as paper piles and mess mounds.  Physical clutter is simply the byproduct of mental confusion caused by a variety of things, with its root cause planted in unsupportive beliefs about what we can and cannot handle.

“All possibilities begin within us,” Barkley said. “The heart of the matter lies in allowing ourselves to open up and begin.”

For more information on booking Virginia or to download her speaking brochure, go to or contact her at

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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