Managing Holiday Stress
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| It’s the most wonderful time of the year! …except when it’s not.
It’s all about Dasher and Dancer, Christmas lights and holiday cheer. This time of year is filled with so many notions of nostalgia, sappy movies and the overwhelming feelings of wanting to be around your people and shower them with love and gifts. I, for one, am enamored with this time of celebration right before the New Year begins and the grind of life ramps up to full steam again. But what people do not tend to talk about are the weights that come with the season. They come in so many different ways to many different people; and it seems that the older I get, the more political and treacherous this time of year has become. Between the Martha Stewart-esk Instagram posts of $$$$ perfectly decorated Christmas trees complete with matching wrapped gift boxes underneath, and trying to find time to meet and prioritize the time expectations of all of your family and friends, all while trying to manage your budget and ward off feelings of gift guilt…it’s a lot. Last holiday season was a stressful one and I vowed to not repeat that situation and so far, it’s been a great one! So today I wanted to share just a few ways I have managed the stress of the season to make this a memorable one.
Prioritize Your Time | Everyone and everything is a priority this time of year but the hard truth is that not everything gets to go first. Something and often someone has to be second, fifth or twelfth on the list. So it’s up to you to decide what’s the most important to you. Who’s house do you want to spend Christmas dinner? Which set of grandparents are you seeing first? Will you make time to see friends and take an afternoon away from family time? It’s important to figure out what’s important to you, tell (don’t suggest) your priorities to the affected parties and keep it moving. May sound clinical and corporate, but when everyone is on the same page, it will save you a lifetime of stress and frustration.
Protect Your Purse Strings | I saw several Instagram polls in the month of November as bloggers and influencers were planning their gift guide content asking the question “What’s your gift budget for your dad/sister/significant other, etc” And I was amazed at the two options. “Under $1000 | More than $1000”. $1000 WHOLE AMERICAN DOLLARS…FOR ONE PERSON…FOR ONE DAY?!! That’s the threshold?? WHET!? Listen…my favorite part of the holiday season is buying and showering people with presents but at this point in my life, I am not in a place in which $1000 is even close to the present allocation. It’s not even that much for EVERYONE on my list. So the bone I have to to pick with these polls is that they set a ridiculous bar to which people then feel obligated to achieve to prove that we are giving enough. Do not get me wrong, this time of year is expensive no matter how large or small your budget may be. But it’s important to be reminded that it’s YOUR budget, and those same people on which you spent all that money likely won’t be there to buy your groceries while they carry that LV bag you bought for them…
Perfection is Overrated | The perfect tree, the exact wrapping paper, the ideal dress for your work Christmas party, checking off every single one of the Christmas traditions. It’s all in the pursuit of perfection because those are the things we’ve determined make the best holiday season. But (as with everything), it’s a lesson in perspective. If you look back regretfully in 3 years that you did not do that thing, then do it. If not, let it go. Start new traditions, be content in what you have created and make this season a memory no matter how is pans out.
The holidays are what you make of it and I hope you all are taking the time you need to enjoy this season!
Love Loudly. Live Loudly.