Even though the Christmas carols praised the winter as “the most wonderful time of the year”, the truth is that the holidays can be beyond stressful! It is the time of year of parties, over-commitment, sugar-rushes, family conflict, and a departure from the regular daily routine. All of these can add up to a pretty hectic time of year.
It IS possible to enjoy yourself and the holiday season.
Here’s what NOT to do to try to make the holidays fun and enjoyable for the family:
- Do not overcomplicate! Keep things simple. Do not bake 12 kinds of cookies when one or two kinds will do just fine. Do not try to attend every party on your list when you really only want to go to one. Sit down with your family and come up with a list of what is most important. Then just stick to that! Reasonable expectations will really help decrease the burden of stress.
- Do not overspend. Financial stress during the holidays can be a huge burden to an already tight budget. Extravagant gifts may seem like a good idea at the time but that credit card bill will really hurt later. Prioritize time together and building family traditions over material things.
- Do not try to do everything yourself. Trying to do everything by yourself to make sure it is done perfectly will only make you more stressed in the long-term. Find ways to involve the whole family in getting ready for the holidays. Sacrifice perfection for quality time together and watch stress melt away. Santa has his elves to help him, so it’s only fair for the whole family to be involved.
- Don’t take it too seriously. A lot can go wrong over the holidays. Just ask the Griswold family! Try not to stress over the traffic, crowded malls, or weird family vibes. Find the humor in it instead feeling disappointed. Focus on what is truly important to you during the holidays. Let all of the superficial parts or inconveniences go.
Most importantly, don’t forget to actually enjoy yourself!
LLebovitz @ GROWcounseling.com