There is no doubt that the holiday season can be stressful! So much to do, to prepare, and then somehow find time to enjoy it. (And don’t forget, you’re supposed to relax too!) But maybe this is just what we need for the holidays–a minute to think on what’s really important.
Here are some suggestions for the holidays, their meaning and importance in our lives.
Reflect. The winter solstice forces all of us to be indoors much more. Why not use that time to light a few candles, listen to music you actually enjoy and reflect on the good (not the negative) that has happened during the year? (Journaling is a great way to reflect, and keep notes to review your thoughts at momentous times, like next year’s holidays.)
Simplify. Many of us place undue stress on ourselves to keep up with traditions, even if they take up unreasonable amounts of time. Do you really need to become a cookie factory or have the best decorations on the block? Simplifying is a great way to free up your time so you can enjoy more. Why not pick the few things you LOVE the most about traditions and hold on to those, while loosening your committment to all the extras you don’t even like much.
Connect. Surround yourself with those you want to be near. When distance doesn’t allow, ZOOM and other online meetings are a great second-best.
Be real. Learn to say no thank you. Not all invitations are obligations! AND how about accepting offers of help. Chances are the offers are genuine, and it actually will give that person joy knowing they gave the gift of their time.
Monitor spending. Gift buying gets expensive quickly, causing more potential stress now and later on. Yes, it is better to give than to receive, but people’s expectations are probably lower than you may think. How about a little more thought, and a little less cost to some of those gifts? (Make a plan to start earlier next year, so you don’t feel as crunched by time.)
Surprise someone. Give a call to an old friend, such as a neighbor you recently left in order to move to Delaware. Who doesn’t love getting an unexpected call like that? It will help put the holidays in a better light while you share memories or a good laugh.
Stay healthy. It’s easy to get off track during the holidays with the abundance of food and drink. But you won’t feel healthy, just guilty!
Pace yourself. The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. With proper planning, you may enjoy activities more such as decorating, baking, gift buying, etc. if you don’t rush. Trending right now, for example, is sending greeting cards after the holidays when there is more free time. Plus, it wishes people a happy new year and extends that holiday feeling.
Here’s to a joyous holiday season to enjoy and relax (for REAL)!