The holiday season is well and truly upon us and whilst we may want the weeks to be nothing but festive cheer, this isn’t usually the case. We can all feel a lot of pressure at Christmas. Pressure to get the perfect gift, make everyone happy and have the best time. The holidays can feel stressful and this is something it’s worth trying to avoid. I’ve compiled a list of the most useful tips I’ve found for having a stress free holiday season.
Don’t get stressed about the gifts
If you haven’t bought all your gifts yet and are panicking do yourself a favour and ask people what they want. No stressing if they’ll like it or not, it’s a guarantee they will. If they say they don’t want anything take John Tierney’s tip and get them a voucher, but make it as general as possible.
Ask yourself what you want the holiday to be
As Dani from Positively Present points out in her post 5 Hang In There Holiday Tips, our image of the perfect holiday often comes from films, TV and society – not us. We feel like we have to meet expectations of the holiday season. Actually it’d be much better to ask ourselves what we want the holiday to be.
Keep your routine
It may not be possible to have exactly the same routine as normal over the holidays. This is especially tricky if you’re not staying in your own home. But if you can maintain some aspects of your routine, I think you’ll be on the path to a stress free holiday. I’ve written about the benefits of breaking your routine but for me, at least, the holiday period isn’t a time to try this. Keeping just a small amount of your routine, like daily yoga or walking, will help you have a stress free holiday.
Let it go
No, not the Disney movie. But if you want to watch that this holiday then go right ahead, if it makes you happy. This bit of advice relates to those arguments that can so easily crop up when you’re cooped up inside with family members you haven’t seen in a while. People’s views may clash with your own, and things may get said in the heat of the moment. But before you snap, ask yourself if it’s really worth it? The answer is usually no, and you can make everyone happier by just letting it go. If it’s still bothering you in a few days you can bring it up then.
Create time for quiet and rest
Gretchen Rubin has been doing a great Holiday Hacks series on her podcast in the lead up to Christmas. As an INFJ one I really liked was to create time for quiet and rest in the busy holiday period. If you’re also an introvert you’ll know how tiring it can be to be expected to interact with people all the time. Sometimes others just don’t understand this. Gretchen offers some great tips for how to make this quiet time for yourself. One good one is offering to go to the shop to pick up an item that’s needed. People will appreciate the help and you can get some time to yourself.
Don’t obsess over perfection
As Brigid Elsken Galloway says in her post for Tiny Buddha 7 Strategies to Stay Sane this Holiday Season “there is no such thing as a perfect holiday”. If we lower our expectations they’re less likely to go unmet. Expect that at least one thing will go wrong, try to laugh it off when it does and enjoy your not perfect holiday.
Over to you. Do you have any tips for having a stress free holiday season? Let me know in the comments below.