December 2020 Keep Holiday Stress at Bay Week 1: Know Your Expectations
Stress and the Holidays
This is supposed to by the happiest time of the year, but I think we have all experienced the feeling of being a bit stressed trying to get all the gifts taken care of, parties organized, cards done and going to school or church events in a short amount of time.
Here are a few tips that may help keep your stress levels low and your happy meter high:
1. Start shopping early for gifts. Make a list of what each person would like and stick to your list. One year I chose to get everyone items that were Made in Colorado. I went to the Farmer’s Markets over the summer months and had fun finding great things for each of my family members. I was done with my holiday shopping in October and felt less stressed.
2. Take a good hard look at what your holiday expectations are and what is really possible. Write down what is really possible and establish those as your realistic goals. Share it with your family and friends to let them know when you have any worries about meeting your expectations. For example, I would love to be able to put up icicle lights around the gables on my house. Each year I think that would be great and look wonderful, but the closer it gets to the season, the less time I find I can do it when the sun is out or someone else is home to make sure I don’t fall off the ladder and the sheer stress of hanging those darn hooks with the right precision just adds a whole new level of stress I really don’t need. So, instead, I ask my son which trees he would like to decorate and hang lights and we do that instead.
3. Create some time just for yourself to reflect on what is really precious to you regarding the holidays. Take this time to reconnect with your spirit and enjoy yourself. Whether it is listening to your favorite holiday songs while drinking tea or coffee, getting a massage, splurging on a manicure or even watching your favorite movie without your family around. Create this special space just for you to relax and reconnect to fully enjoy the spirit of the season.
This planning and organizing really has made a difference in my stress levels. I feel confident that all is “good enough” and doesn’t need to be perfect. If you are stressing about the approaching holidays stay tuned for a new tip next week.