The Holidays are upon us! As soon as Halloween is over, the frenzy begins. Holiday music playing in the stores and on the radio with ads on TV all reminding us that we have a finite number of days to get ready. While for most, this is a very happy time of year, filled with joy and warm memories. But for others, it can be a source of pain and anxiety. Here are a few tips to keep the “Happy” in the holidays…
Cool, Calm, and Collected
It’s easy to get caught up in all the expectations that seem to accompany this time of year. When we look at the whole picture, it can be completely overwhelming with all that needs to be done. Instead of waiting until the last minute causing it to be a source of stress and anxiety, take a time out and create a plan. Make a list of all that needs to be done and break it down into small chunks. Make it a goal to accomplish one or two things each day. That way, when the day arrives, you will be ready. But most of all, make it a priority to take care of yourself. Get your rest, eat healthy food, drink plenty of pure water, and make time to exercise. This will keep your stress level down and give you plenty of energy to do all that needs to be done.
Perfectionism is Overrated
When the day arrives, we want the meal to turn out perfectly, on time, everything in it’s place and the day to go off without a hitch. As the saying goes…”Expectations are premeditated disappointments.” Recognize that we are all human; expect that you will spill coffee on your great outfit; that the dog will run across your perfectly mopped floor with his mud-caked paws; that your mother will show up late; that you will trip and drop the turkey on the floor. Expect the worst, learn to laugh about it and cut yourself a break. Relax, allow the day to unfold the way that it does and enjoy the time with your loved ones; nobody expects you to be perfect.
Keep on Budget
It seems like so many people go into debt this time of year in an effort to shower those they love with an abundance of gifts. Then we work all year long to pay it off just in time to spend it all again. Instead of buying a gift just for the sake of giving, why not hone down your list of people you want to buy for, and set a budget. Consider making a gift for something that would be a one of a kind treasure. Above all, give people the gift that matters most…your time, love and attention.
It’s Not Personal
Bringing the family all together can be the best of times and the worst of times. What starts out as being all hugs, laughter and joy can quickly turn to hurt feelings, crying and Aunt Patty leaving the party early totally pissed off. Our families were our first friends in the sandbox and learning to deal with people of all types of personalities in the real world. Keep in mind that what people say and do is 100% about them and what you say and do is 100% about you so don’t take things personally. Everyone is doing the very best they can with the tools they have to work with, whether it looks like it or not.
Only See the Best
As you are making your guest list are you thinking about how your cousin has that annoying laugh, how your uncle drinks too much, that your aunt likes to gossip about everyone, how your little brother constantly pushes your buttons and you are wondering how you are going to make it through the evening? All of us have dysfunctional families, just varies in degrees. Whatever it is that you focus on most, is what you will always see. Trying making a list of all you appreciate about each person and the flaws will quickly fade away leaving space to enjoy and appreciate the time.
All you Need is Love
Instead of looking at the holidays with a sense of dread, make a list of all that you are grateful for. With so much emphasis on the material, recognize that love is the reason for the season and allow that to be the biggest blessing of all. Even when things don’t go as planned, unfold perfectly like we had hoped, don’t we have so much to be grateful for?
May your holiday season be filled with an abundance of love, joy and blessings that become beautiful memories. These are the most precious gifts you will carry with you long after the season has ended for many years to come.
~ Kimberlee Anderson