The holidays can always be a stressful time, but this year, it doesn't have to be. We've been challenged in the past year and a half to maneuver in new ways, as well as finding new ways to relax and create memories.
I can only share my experiences and what's helped me. Here are some of my tips for getting through the holidays with a little less stress this year. These are just suggestions, as always, do what works for you!❤️
1. Focus on what is important
During the holidays we seem to be consumed with preparing food, buying gifts, and making it all perfect. But focusing on all this can also make us bonkers at times. It's ok to slow down and actually enjoy the holidays. Yes you, even if you are the one who ends up doing everything. Include yourself in this holiday season as well. If you want to drive around and see lights, or simply sit down and relax, find a way to incorporate it. The holidays are for everyone to enjoy them as they feel fit. After the past year and a half, waking up in the morning is something to be thankful for. Enjoying the simple things and making plans that keep you balanced are important. When the anxiety arises, try to take the time to breathe and count your blessings, even if they're hard to see in the moment.
2. You can't do all the things all the time (and don't have to)
Super heroes don't wear their capes all the time. Let me ease your mind a bit, everything doesn't need to be done right now and you can't, and don't have to do it all. No one is an island and no one was meant to do everything alone. Ask for help when needed, write things down, and deal with the most important things first (FROGS). Making a plan always helps me. With my 3 most important things to get done at the forefront of my day and in my mind, whatever else I get done is a bonus. I can't get everything complete in a day and I refuse to spend my days overwhelmed and defeated.
3. Create new traditions
Every holiday brings an opportunity to start something new. Put your own spin on an old tradition or create a whole new one! Add a new recipe to the mix, get the kids involved, or a day pf relaxation! I think of the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas as a chill day. I even bought a comfortable onsie to chill in as I stay in the house, drinking my tea and relaxing. I always look forward to the holiday, as well as the day after because i've made it an unofficial day for myself. Those in my family know where to find me and to plan accordingly.
4. Make a plan
I love a plan! I just feel better when I have an outline and know where I'm going. Whether it's a plan to get all the food on the table at the same time or simply what my day looks like, I think a plan always can help. Within my plans, I try to remain flexible. Unexpected things will happen, especially during the holidays, and I'm prepared to make and revise my plan as needed.
5. Break up your daily goals
As the old saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day," and all the things won't get completed in a day either. I try to limit my tasks to 2-3 important things, but definitely no more than 5. As a busy mom & business owner, I found I needed to focus on the important stuff and let the other tackled tasks be a bonus. My daily goal planning sheet may be a good start to getting more done! (It's in my resource library.) As your buying gifts and planning the big meal, take steps day by day to help make it manageable.
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
6. Move with intention
Every action has a purpose. Ok, maybe not every action, but actions that can move you closer to your goals should be intentional. Knowing how those actions can move you forward can motivate you to the finish line. And I believe wins are meant to be celebrated. For example, if you're cooking the holiday meal, having a plan can give you a step by step guide to getting the food on the table at the same time. Giving the job of filling the dishwasher to another responsible party (teenagers?) can take something off you list and still get the cleaning done.
7. Be present (or try)
The holidays are a great opportunity to create good memories and celebrate. Moments are fleeting and one way to truly experience them is to be as present as possible. Not all moments of parenthood are ones to celebrate (getting pooped or thrown up on, lack of sleep, the battle of wills, etc), but there are some good ones in the crazy mix of parenthood. During the holidays bedtimes may be altered, schedules and routines can fall apart, and breakdowns can occur. It's also really hard to be focused in the moment when there's the potential to burn down the house while cooking a delicious meal on the stove. As parents, we're always thinking ahead, even if it's 5 minutes from now. My advice, enjoy the moments you can and know you can make it through the difficult ones (especially with support, you know where to find me!)
8. Give yourself grace (aka It's ok if it isn't perfect)
This is one I am still working on personally. I'm by no means a perfectionist, but I do believe in presentation and would love for things to happen as I see them in my head. This is not always the case, however. So, I have to give myself some grace. I can't do it all. Things get crazy and go left, often, so I have decided to no longer beat myself up for what went differently when I saw it happening. Life happens. Instead, I try to go with the flow and try to make the best of the situation. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Hopefully, even if I burn something on the stove, I can just add 'cajun' to the name. (That could work, right?).
9. Make time for you
In the mix of all the busyness, make the time to relax. Plan in it your day if you must. The holiday season is a time for you to enjoy as well, not just work to make it happen for everyone else. Have movie night or a game night, rest and find moments to sit and enjoy the life and memories being made around you. It's alright to make time for yourself, especially if it's what you need to renew your spirit,
10. Look for and try to find joy
Throughout the holidays there are busy and crazy moments. There's always something to do-cook, buy, plan, etc. Within those moments, there are moments of laughter, moments that can bring you to tears (good and otherwise), and moments to remember. I am choosing to look for those good moments and experiences that stick with me and make me smile. The other ones will come too, but if I am actively looking for the good, I'm sure I'll find something daily to smile about. They say you will find whatever you're looking for, so I am making the decision to focus on love and gratitude to keep my sanity and calm this holiday season. (I'm hoping for the best & we'll see how it goes! Life is always a work in progress!)
"If you look for something to criticize, you will find it. If you look for something to compliment, you will find that too. Your choice."-Katrina Mayer
I wish you a happy, peaceful, memory filled holiday season! 🎁 I plan on celebrating the holiday season and I'd love if you'd join me! Become a member of my site to be the first to know of upcoming events!