It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No matter if you’re religious or not December is full of cheer, quality family time, and lots of delicious food. I wanted to write this post to remind everyone that this season can also be stressful for many people. Anxiously searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones, arranging travel plans with added concerns due to the pandemic, and even finding time to put up decorations can be difficult. If you’re feeling any of this, don’t worry you’re not alone. Here are five of my favorite tips for making the most out of the holidays and keeping mentally healthy throughout:
- Set a budget and stick to it.
This can be applied to buying presents, picking out the perfect tree, or even deciding on a vacation spot. Financials can be a huge stressor specifically during the holidays, so I urge you to be realistic when it comes to spending money. It’s not about how much you spend rather it’s the thought that counts, as cliché as it may seem.
2. Reserve some “you” time.
Family and friends are valuable aspects of anyone’s life. Whether it is your chosen family or blood-relatives there’s a lot of love to be given. However, most people can agree too much family time can be a drag. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way. In order to combat high annoyance levels be sure to take some time to relax. It could be as simple as taking a bath and vegging out. To give to others, you have to give to yourself first.
3. Remember the past but stay present in the moment.
The holidays can bring up some upsetting feelings. These emotions can come from celebrating without a loved one for the first time to feeling like you haven’t grown as much as you had hoped for in the past year. This year in particular many families have the added pressure of not all getting to celebrate together due to health and safety concerns. Although it is beneficial to reminisce on fond memories and even learn from the past, be sure to not dwell on things. Stay focused on the now and live in the moment with the people you can celebrate with. I know this is easier said than done, but it truly is important to not let any old grievances impact your current situation.
4. Realize looks aren’t everything.
This tip can be applied to yourself and your property. Holiday cards are great to receive, but they aren’t always an accurate representation of a realistic family Christmas. Perception is everything during this season, and ultimately just because a house has the grandest decorations, you do not have to compare your holiday experience to the one you think they have. Also, when it comes to diets remember eating one more cookie won’t kill you. Although no one should be focusing on other people’s weight during family dinner, it happens more often than society should allow. I encourage you to not be your worst critic or anyone else’s.
5. Give grace to everyone.
When a family fight breaks out within the first few hours of being together, it is easy to let the argument set the entire tone of the week. However, don’t let it. I know in my family we have a sarcastic joke that one of us has to be in a bad mood and ruin our time together, but the truth is one blip in a day does not mean everything has to turn sour. Being forgiving to your family, friends, and even the grocery store worker who doesn’t have the ingredient you wanted for your famous dessert can go a long way. The little negative things should not hold power over all the joy that is around you right now.
Overall if you’re stressing about the coming week, do not fret too much. I hope you can take these five pieces of advice and make the most out of the season. Wishing each and every one of you a happy holiday from my family to yours!