As the holiday season rolls around, we all look forward to the fun and festivities with friends and family. But let's be honest, it's easy to get wrapped up in the stress of it all—from the occasional family squabbles that resurface to the financial pinch of gifts and travel, not to mention wanting everything to go just right. If you're grieving or missing someone, this time can feel especially tough.
What if we took a moment to really think about what we want from the holidays? About ways to ditch the anxiety and really tap into the heart of the season? Here's a list of five simple tips to help keep your cool and genuinely enjoy your holiday time, whether you're with family, friends, or enjoying some quality time on your own:
Take Time Just for You
The holiday rush can make us feel like we have to be everywhere at once. Even the experts, like the American Psychological Association, say it's crucial to pause for some "me time." Whether it’s a quiet cup of coffee, a jog, or scribbling in your journal—make room for those little rituals that recharge you. It's the secret to being your best self for others during this busy time.
It's easy to get caught up wanting to control every detail, but how about we just appreciate what's around us right now? Studies, like those highlighted in Mindful magazine, tell us gratitude does wonders for our mood. Instead of fixating on what's missing or could be better, try to celebrate what you have. A small shift in perspective can turn the whole season around.
Drop the Quest for Perfection
Let go of that little voice demanding everything be just so. The wrapped presents might not all line up. The pie could take a nosedive. And it's all okay. Holidays are about the people, not the perfection. Embrace the mess and cherish the memories being made, even if they're not what you expected.
Got a family member who's pushing your buttons? Try to show a little more patience and kindness—everyone's probably got some holiday jitters. A smile, a kind gesture to a fellow harried traveler, or a moment of understanding can go a long way. Kindness can spread faster than holiday cheer, and it starts with how we treat ourselves too.
It's OK to Say No
Feeling the pressure to attend one more holiday event that just doesn't spark joy for you? No need to force it. Set your boundaries and honor what feels right. And if you can't swing the big gifts this year, remember it's the thought that counts. Your presence is truly the best present.
Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all way to celebrate. Choose what feels good, meaningful and right for you and your loved ones. Let's close out the year with what the holidays are really about—whether it's family traditions, the warmth of togetherness, or simply the act of giving and receiving love. It's about creating a season that feels right for us, without the extra strain. So here's to finding joy in our own unique ways as we wrap up 2023!