While we might associate the holidays with presents, laughter, and joy, the reality is that for many of us, this time of year is not necessarily all calm and bright.
In the midst of the holiday season, use these tips to keep your expectations in check:
- For some, it is a relief to get a break from the routine. For others, holiday break is just that: a breaking from the helpful structure of their normal day-to-day activities. Be sure to take time to reflect on your hopes and expectations for this time of year with the acknowledgment that there is no “right way” to feel.
- Social media is everywhere and can be a great connecting force. However, it can also perpetuate the image of the holiday season as an idyllic, perfect time of year with nothing to stress about. This isn’t reality – the holidays are not perfect for anyone. While a great time of year, know that there are many factors that can contribute to stress, including: family drama, missing loved ones, and everything in between.
- Give yourself permission to opt-out of tasks or events that you don’t want to do. Try to keep things simple. If you aren’t in the mood for hosting or attending a party, suggest grabbing a cup of coffee with friends, or maybe try to go for a walk through a decorated part of town.
- The holidays can be financially challenging. Don’t feel obligated to go on a spending spree to get everyone you know an expensive gift. Get creative – write a meaningful card, prioritize giving thoughtful gifts over expensive gifts, or simply spend some quality time with friends and family.
- Make time for yourself
- Don’t over plan
- Accept what you cannot change
- Do your best to be tolerant of others. Remember, it can be a stressful time for others, too!