How to Successfully Survive the Holidays
Celebrate the season by giving yourself the gift of a happy holiday. Here are 3 tips to reduce stress and increase the fun this holiday season.
November to January tends to be a stressful time. The higher the stress level is, the worse we feel and treat people around us. Yet, we walk around wishing people a merry and happy holiday. So how do you not only survive the holidays but also have a joyful time participating in it?
The highest stress of the holidays is expectations. Whether it is your expectations on how you want the holiday to be or family and friend’s expectations, they weigh heavily on the occasions. It is amazing how many things we have to juggle during the holiday season: extended family, work parties, friends, and kid’s activities. That’s an exhausting list of people to please.
Often, we let the holidays happen to us. We get swept up in the expectations and exhaust ourselves trying to meet everyone’s needs. What would happen if you looked at it a different way? What if instead of reacting to the holidays, you take charge of them? Take a moment to look at your invitations, family obligations, meal plans and everything else that comes with the holiday. What do you enjoy? Have a conversation with your spouse and kids, find out what they enjoy. Then plan your holiday based on your preferences instead of meeting expectations which might not be what the other people want. Make sure you also schedule in time for relaxation and fun.
When I help people slow down their lives and prioritize, I often find out the most important thing about the holiday is the people you share it with. We give gifts and often occupy the same space but do we actually celebrate the other people in our lives? Celebrating another person is taking time to be present with them by talking with them and sharing thoughts and emotions with each other. Take some time out to have a date night with your spouse or play a game with your children. Taking time out of a busy season to listen to them and show them how much you love them will be remembered long after they forgot the effort you put into the meal or the decorations.
Don’t forget traditions
You are a unique person and you were raised with certain traditions. If you are in a relationship, there are two of you combining holiday traditions. Traditions are important to our life stories but are all your traditions ones you want to continue and pass on?
I had a tradition of finding my brother a specialty chocolate because I thought it was his favourite. Then I accidentally overheard him say that he did not like them anymore but put up with them because it was tradition. What a huge relief not to have to find them anymore! You might find out there are some things that you put a lot of effort into that other people do not care about. Its a fun conversation to have to ask each other what traditions you like because it triggers memories and often laughter. A great date night idea is to talk about what you remember from childhood and what is important to you to continue and pass on to your children. Remember to talk about traditions you might want to start that are unique to you!