What do you need the most this Christmas? And I am not talking about gifts. I mean what do you need to feel happy, complete, and well-rested during/after the holidays?
This Christmas make it a priority to take care of yourself. Write a list of things that truly make you happy and forget about the ones that you HAVE to do because of certain expectations or because “It’s just how we have done things”.
I know I might be stirring the pot here but I know exactly how crazy it can get around this time of the year for some people. We rush because: “Oh, my…I still haven’t finished Christmas shopping”, “I’m worried about the decoration, what if people don’t like it”, “I still have to wash the window frames to make sure no one can see there is dust on them”, “I have to create a fifteen course meal because we are hosting Christmas!”.
If you usually have a relaxing time, good for you. But if you feel like you too get a little overwhelmed around this time of the year, I am asking you to take a step back for your own sake…
I have seen my mom’s Christmas to-do list before and there was so much written on the paper that it would have been a long list even if it was titled as: My to-do list for 2015-2018. But it was only for a two week period. I have seen my family members spend days in the kitchen to make seven different kinds of soups, entrees, and multiple kind of desserts just because…you know…it is Christmas. Sometimes my mom didn’t go to sleep the night before Christmas because she was wrapping gifts, cleaning, packing, cooking, and organizing. We helped wherever we could but she put way too much weight on her own shoulders.
It is ironic to say the least that you would get stressed and burnt out during Christmas that is all about coziness, time well spent together, calmness and peace.
So this is a friendly reminder that you do not need to go full out and drive yourself crazy. You will spend the holidays with family and friends and for them the most important thing is to spend time with you while playing games, hanging out and talking, watching movies, or going on a walk. They don’t care if the mirror in the bathroom is clean or if there are only two types of cookies on the dinner table.
One thing I love about my husband’s extended family Chritmas is that each year they come up with a collective idea for gifts. One year we did secret Santa and had to create a little gift basket of our favorite things under $15 and explain why we loved those things. Another year we had to do something for others like volunteering or giving food out for the homeless and then at Christmas we all shared with others what we did. Another year we had to write our story about our lives that really influenced our paths. How amazing is that? No stressing about getting a million different gifts and we do something memorable, important, and fun together. The stories and the activity itself always brings the room together.
5+1 Things You Can Do To Make The Holidays Less Stressful
1. Write a to-do list of all things you think you need to get done. Then go over that list again and cross out the ones that are not as important but have more of a “this is how we have been doing things” kind of vibe. Once you have your final to-do list, set up the order of importance and Voila!, you are on your way to a stress-free Christmas. Do what you and your immediate family would like to do this Christmas. Don’t do what you think is expected of you.
2. Don’t be afraid to say no to things, invitations or anything that does not make you happy.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You don’t need to tackle everything on your own.
4. You can order food, buy the dessert, ask others to bring the dessert, and use online shopping.
5. Accept that it is okay if things are not perfect.
5+1. Remember what Christmas is really about and truly focus on what matters.
What are you gonna do this Christmas to make the holidays less stressful for yourself? What are you gonna say no to, to gain more time with your loved ones?