What do you love most about the holidays? Is it special time with family and friends? The joy of giving and receiving heartfelt gifts? Baking cookies with your kids? No matter who you are, I’m guessing that “holiday stress” didn’t make your list of favorite things. Somehow, though, holiday stress, anxiety and the pressure to do everything for everyone can overshadow the joy of the season. But it doesn’t have to be like that!
Imagine a season where holiday stress, anxiety and frantic errands are replaced by joy and quiet moments with your family and friends. I know that feels impossible, especially with our mile-long to-do lists, but it’s not! Stress-proofing your holidays is easier than you think! Just follow these 3 easy stress management steps and you’ll be well on your way to fa-la-la-la-la-ing with your family and friends!
Keep Your Eyes on the Star
With so many activities, ads and assumed obligations vying for our attention, it’s easy to become distracted by (and stressed over!!) things that really don’t matter. So, before we get buried in the hustle and bustle of the season, what’s truly important to you about the holidays? Is it special moments with family and friends? Expressing gratitude? Sharing holiday cheer with the less fortunate? Celebrating the true reason for the season?
Whatever your answer is, keep your focus there. That’s your star, and you need to keep your eyes on it! It’s a guidepost by which you can filter your schedule, assess the value of each activity, and celebrate the successes of each day (big and small) that have moved you closer to what truly matters to you.
The holidays aren’t about doing everything; they’re about doing the right things. And by focusing on what really matters, you can avoid holiday stress and anxiety. When you excuse yourself from the frantic, frenzied holiday rush you actually have time to enjoy the things that make your season meaningful.
Be Present Not Perfect
Throughout the holidays, there seems to be an unwritten rule that everything has to be perfect. We need the Pinterest-worthy table, perfectly posed portraits, and perfect moments where everyone is in a holly-jolly mood at the exact same time. This can cause such expectation anxiety, though, and merely paves the way for holiday stress before and disappointment after our perfect imaginings don’t pan out. No person and no moment is perfect. And that’s okay!
When we let go of our self-imposed standards of perfection, we can also let go of the anxiety, pressure and holiday stress that come with them. Letting go of perfection allows us to be present as our best selves, not our hyper-stressed, sleep-deprived, hardly-recognizable selves. And this is the biggest gift we can give ourselves and others! Being truly present frees us to invest our time and our hearts in imperfect but beautiful moments with loved ones. Those are the moments- the perfectly imperfect ones - that we’ll cherish forever.
Rally the Troops
I admit, even when we focus on what matters and let go of perfection, there’s still a lot to do throughout the holiday season, especially when you’re in the business world! Even if you’re a modern-day Wonder Woman, your time and energy have their limits. Trying to do everything all by yourself is incredibly stressful and can cause so much anxiety. That’s why it’s vital to rally the troops and utilize every resource at your disposal!
What “troops” are ready to be rallied in your life? Do you have a team of employees you can delegate tasks to? Do you have four sets of tiny, helping hands (aka - your kids) who would be excited to help you wrap presents? Then make use of the gifts you’ve been given and don’t carry the entire holiday workload on your shoulders!
So whether your “troops” look like the freezer aisle in Trader Joe’s (have you seen their cauliflower gratin and cranberry pie???) or business gifts from Sweeten the Day, don’t let any of your resources go to waste! It’s time to hit the easy button and shirk off holiday stress once and for all!
Wrapping It Up ;)
Keep your eyes on the star
Be present not perfect
And rally the troops!