Full of love, joy, and for some, stress. The holidays are a mix of many events and mixed emotions. There’s the gifts, the social obligations, the decorations, the family drama, the travel and the hustle to get it all done. Often we focus on the holiday magic for others and put our own needs last. The holidays fly by and we’re left feeling grief come January because we didn’t slow down and enjoy it. To help with the hustle, here are four ways to minimize stress and enjoy this holiday season.
If you’ve never taken the Love Language Quiz, its time. When we really think about our best gifts, they are different for everyone. Some people truly enjoy a thoughtful gift, while others would prefer an act of service. If someone gave me the gift of cleaning my house, or prepping a couple freezer meals, that would leave me feeling so loved and cared for. What are some of your talents that can be a gift to others? Too often we assume that the perfect gift is something we find at the store. Try looking internally.
Along with that here is your permission to stop giving gifts, or stop giving them to some people. As a family we have decided that the adults no longer need gifts. We focus our gift giving around the kids and as adults, we enjoy our time together (another one of the many love languages). Is there a new way you can look at gift giving?
It was when I decided to throw all expectations out the window that I truly found joy. Here’s the thing, when we expect certain things to happen, we might be setting ourselves up for failure. If what we expect doesn’t happen, we are disappointed. Whereas, if we expect nothing, we are grateful for everything!
Letting go of expectations allows us to go with the flow. During the holidays that is critical. For example, I am a big fans of sleep schedules for my kids. I’m choosing to let go of the nap schedules this holiday season. I have faith that we will get back on track. Expecting or even planning for naps to stay the same would be setting myself, and my kids, up for failure. I have accepted that it won’t be our normal schedule and that we will get back on schedule after the holidays.
What expectations can you let go of? Here’s another tip, let go of the things you don’t have control of.
Use your best YES! The holidays were never meant to be a cause of stress. They were meant as a way to slow down, be grateful and spend time resonating with your faith. I once heard someone say “If its not a heck yes, its a no.” I’ve been living by that saying for a couple of years now and it has been life changing. We don’t need to please everyone by just showing up because if we aren’t showing up as our best selves, who truly want to be there, we aren’t showing up.
As a recovery blog, its important to remind you that putting your sobriety first is okay. You are giving yourself, and others the best gift you can this holiday season by choosing you.
I’m a daughter to a recovering alcohol. This will be our second year EVER (I’m 34 by the way), that I will have a sober dad present at Christmas. His sobriety is the best gift he can give.
Physical clutter is directly linked to mental clutter. The more “stuff” we have the more cortisol is released in our body. Cortisol is your stress hormone. This holiday season, I encourage you to decorate minimally. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season or put up some décor. You will find yourself enjoying your holiday decorations while also having a peaceful mind.
I hope these four ways to minimize stress help you be joyful and jolly this holiday season!