The holiday season brings a great deal of joy and warmth along with it. There’s something extra special about this time of year — but it doesn’t come without fault. A great deal of added stress is seemingly dumped on our plates, and it can be hard to catch our breath. The pressure of finding gifts, rushing around in the hustle and bustle to visit everyone, having people visit you, getting to see relatives you miss, and even having to deal with those that aren’t always a joy to be around.
This season really can be enjoyable and heart-warming, even with the stress involved. Walking into this time of year with a great mindset and some helpful reminders gets me through every year… and I’d love to share my tips on how I do this with you.
For a stress-free holiday season, I try to…
1. Remember perfect doesn’t really exist
Your cookies turned out like blobs. Your lights aren’t lighting up. Your kids just made a mess of your clean house moments before the guests are arriving. Surrender your vision of what perfect is and just let it go. The only thing the people in your life care about is being with you.
2. Don’t feel bad about saying “no”
You can’t do it all. There’s no reason you need to go to every party and event from now through New Year’s. Decide which ones are most important to attend and politely decline the others. Spreading yourself too thin isn’t good for anyone, and it makes the time fly by faster, also. You’ll enjoy the holiday months better if they don’t whiz by in a blink.
3. Stay away from crash diets
We’ve talked about reasonable ways to handle healthy eating during the holidays before. Please don’t decide to starve yourself to compensate for the extra calories you had or are going to have at that holiday party. If you do slip up, forgive yourself and make a point to be more mindful. Don’t punish yourself for any mistakes. Just move forward with better decisions, no punishment involved.
4. Know that asking for help is okay
Let me repeat: you can’t do it all. Let family and friends help out when they offer. They can bring a dish, grab something from the store on their way, or help with the dishes. If you have to go to someone’s party and don’t have the time to make something, grab something pre-made from the store. There comes a time when we all need help and learning how to accept it will be incredibly beneficial for your sanity.
5. Fit in time for yourself
Women, in particular, spend less than 30 minutes a day on themselves. Go for a run, get a limited-edition special-roasted coffee at the corner café and sit there in peace, read a book, take a bath, or make time with your best friend to just have one-on-one time without your kids tagging along. You’ll feel full again, which renews your mind and spirit like nothing else. We can’t give from an empty cup, as the saying goes.
Remember, the holidays are about joy. Find yours within, and you’ll be able to spread more of it around. What makes you feel most joyful?
One thing that fills me up during the holiday season and my way of spreading joy is speaking words of encouragement to those retail workers. I like to pause when getting coffee (or making another purchase) and acknowledge the person by name. Let them know they matter and that I am thankful for their help. Often times when we slow down and SEE the person in front of us – it brings GREAT joy to both people.