'Tis the season to be jolly... and hella stressed out, amirite? I used to try to do all the things during the holiday season - people pleaser problems! I'd come out of the holidays exhausted and often sick. A few years ago, I decided to make a change, so I can enjoy the holidays on my terms, and so I can start the new year feeling refreshed instead of run ragged. Here are two tips that help me have a less stressful holiday season - and life in general:
USE YOUR HANDS FOR SOMETHING BESIDES TYPING ON A KEYBOARD OR TAPPING A SCREEN
As a busy professional, it can be so hard to unplug, but it is also so good for your mental health. To make disconnecting easier, put your phone out of your line of sight, or even in a drawer. Then choose an activity that will keep your hands busy — even better if they are dirty too. When your hands are tied up, you’re less likely to end up scrolling social or flipping TV stations absentmindedly. Some of my favorite ways to disconnect with loved ones are playing a board game, doing a craft like pottery, baking family recipes and looking through old photos. When I’m looking to unplug and de-stress by myself during the holidays, I love to read a paperback book while taking a bath, do home renovation projects — hitting nails with a hammer is pretty self-relieving as well — and play with my dogs.
During the holiday season, the countless holiday parties, guests and events can be overwhelming and exhausting. It’s easy to feel like you have to ‘do all the things’, and say ‘yes’ to every invite. Let me let you in on a little secret… you can say ‘no’! Remember, it doesn’t mean you are rude or selfish.
You have limited time, money and energy, and overcommitting can leave you broke, exhausted, and hurt your physical and mental health.
Before you agree to attend something or to have houseguests, check in with yourself. Is it something you want to do, or do you just feel obligated to? Do you have the time and energy for the event or to handle the houseguests? Do you have the money for that expensive gift? Saying ‘no’ can lead to a more relaxing holiday season, and enables you to say ‘yes’ to - and enjoy - what really matters to you.
Do you look forward to the holidays or do you look forward to them being over? Drop your answer and your best tip(s) for navigating the hectic holiday season in the comments.