We all know what a stressful time the holidays can be. As much fun as we may expect to have, those expectations can create a lot of pressure. It’s important to take active steps in de-stressing during your holiday season. Don’t just wait for things to settle down or get better, make it a priority to do the things that help you feel better and unwind. Here are some tips on how to de-stress during the holidays, especially when you feel like you can’t.
Set manageable expectations and be adaptable:
It can be easy to get wrapped up in the spirit of the holidays, imagining the perfect evening, week or even month, which can lead to setting unrealistic expectations. We recall our favorite traditions, holiday movies and stories, and picture the perfect holiday. Families grow and change, and it’s okay, perhaps even healthy, for our traditions to do the same and adapt to new situations and settings. During such times, it’s important to remember that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned.
Remember, the most important thing is to find ways to celebrate the joys of the season with the people you care about. Maybe that looks like a video call this year, maybe that means a few new faces, or the start of a new tradition. Either way, try to have fun with it and embrace the good things.
It’s okay to say “no”:
This one can be really difficult, but that makes it especially important. We’ve each got a bandwidth for the holiday season, and even the most extroverted folks among us have a social battery. Don’t feel obliged to say “yes” to every invitation. If you don’t feel up for a particular party, let them know you can’t make it. People understand that there are a lot of obligations during this time of year and not everyone will be able to make every single event.
Take time for yourself and delegate:
Part of saying “no” to invitations is making time for yourself! We know that “family” is the mantra of the season, but it’s also important to make some “me time.” This can take many forms and look a lot of different ways. Check out this blog to learn some great self-care options.
If you feel like you don’t have time for these, try delegating some of your tasks to someone else. Acknowledge your feelings during this time and be honest with yourself. Are you feeling stressed out about a particular aspect of the holiday? Share that with your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to accept help when people offer it.
The holidays are a joyous time, but they can be exhausting. So take it easy on yourself. Take the time to catch your breath, enjoy some fresh air, and get plenty of rest.