This time of year is stressful - there’s no getting around it. However, with a little mindfulness and preparation, you can manage the holiday stress better and feel more whole at the beginning of the new year. Here are 6 things you can do destress for the holidays.
Set reasonable expectations for yourself. Take a few minutes to sit down and make a list of what you want your holidays to look like, feel like and who and what you want to include. Now look back through the list you just made and evaluate if you really have the time and energy to make it to all those events or create the vision in your head. Watch for magical thinking or unrealistic time and energy expectations for yourself and others.
Get started early. If you have a lot of presents to wrap, family to call, cards to send, etc then get started now. Wrap one present a day or write two cards each evening. That way you won’t find yourself on the eve of a holiday with everything to do. That last day is for all the other last minute things you forgot so get everything that you can done ahead of time.
Take breaks from social media, advertisements and shopping. Starting in early November, we are constantly inundated with images and messages about what the “perfect” holiday party or gathering should look like. The advertisements for gifts, decorations and even cars are relentless and can make us feel as if we don’t have enough things to truly celebrate with our friends and family. This is of course, not true. Celebrating with friends and family is really more about being present with them and making memories. So make some space for quiet time alone throughout the month.
Along with the previous idea, make time for self-care. This can be as simple as taking an extra long hot shower, going for a run, lighting a candle you love and watching your favorite holiday film. Whatever it is, make sure it is something that gives you a real break from all the to-dos. Also, if you are the one hosting the party or family over the holidays, try to squeeze in at least an hour of self-care before everyone arrives. You feel much more rested and ready to receive everyone.
Be firm on healthy boundaries with people. You never have to be around someone. No one can tell you who you have to see or hug or talk to at holiday gatherings. If you know of an unsafe person who has also be invited you can try asking your family or friends to have you over before or after that person is there. If you do choose to be around those people then know that you can walk away from conversations if they are too unpleasant to handle. Taking breathing breaks and call an understanding friend for support if you feel yourself spiraling. Your mental and emotional health is far more important than any holiday or social tradition.
Lastly, take a day off from work or school after the holidays. You will feel more refreshed returning to your job if you have had a whole day to reflect, process and even just be lazy the day after a busy holiday. Understandably, not everyone has the luxury of an extra day off but take it if you can or get creative with the time off you do have to make some time to decompress.
On a side note, we have officially stopped taking orders for delivery by Christmas. If you were not able to order by our deadline of December 6th, don’t stress it. You can always give a gift after the holidays, because honestly, who says it has to be that day? However or whatever you choose to celebrate this year, have a wonderful break and lots of self-love.
from the Hand and Hide team.
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