The holiday season is coming soon! Do you think of sparkling trees, steaming roasts, laughing family members and seasonal scents in the air? Or do you immediately start to dread the crowds, the to-do lists, and the stress?
I want to help you have a healthier holiday season this year! Try these tips to get mentally prepared.
Meditate: First things first, cultivate a meditation habit so that you have a quiet inner place that you can go to whenever you are feeling the holiday craziness. Even just 5 minutes a day of deep breathing and zoning out will help cut down those hectic thoughts and reduce your stress level.
Go with a plan/list: Rather than waltzing into the shopping mall and immediately getting overwhelmed, do all the master-minding beforehand. Make a list of ideas, and window-shop online to fill out your list. Then organize the list by area so that it’s easier to complete. If you can actually buy any of those gifts online, do it earlier to ensure that they arrive on time.
Limit your time: Try to avoid spending a whole day twirling around the shopping mall or the supermarket like a maniac. Instead, have those lists ready and section them off into smaller chunks which you can attack in just an hour or two at a time. Invite a trusted friend or sibling along to provide support and keep things fun!
Forgive yourself for mistakes: The roast didn’t turn out, or that gift wasn’t perfect after all? If things don’t go as planned, that’s ok! No one judges us as harshly as we do ourselves. Keep things simple, expect the unexpected and stay flexible so that you can deal with any roadblocks that come up. Forgive any imperfections, and give yourself a break.
Remember what it’s all about: Keep in mind that this isn’t the season of maxed-out credit cards, mile-long to-do lists and piles of gifts. While it may feel that way, it’s actually the season of joy, love, and togetherness! Make a point of remembering what the holidays are all about, and taking time to enjoy the little things.
Consider reducing the load: Aren’t big piles of gifts kind of the 1990s? We feel like it’s more progressive to cut down on all the consumerism and instead give simple homemade things or thoughtful charitable gifts. Alternatively, mutually agree to reduce the value of gifts and cut the stress of over-spending!
Put yourself first: While it’s easy to focus on others and making sure everyone is having a great time, don’t forget that none of this will be possible without you being happy, healthy and sane! Schedule in vital self-care time to ensure that you are rested and de-stressed. You deserve to enjoy the holidays, to ensure that you’re in the right mental state to be able to do so!
Delegate responsibilities: Women and mothers often take on too much and forget that other members of the family are perfectly capable of helping out. Remember that it’s not vital for everything to be perfect, so it’s ok to relinquish some control and allow others to play a part. Getting everyone involved even helps foster the holiday spirit!
Draw boundaries: If you have the same darn argument with your aunt every year at the dinner table, consider speaking with her beforehand to make a pact not to fall into the same behavior this year. If the other party isn’t willing to cooperate, make a promise to yourself to not engage, and lead by example. Boundaries are vital for your mental and emotional health.
What do you dread about the holidays? Make a point of addressing those things ahead of time, so you can focus on the things you LOVE about the holidays!