The holidays are supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”, but unfortunately, most US adults report higher stress levels the months of November and December than any other time. Between financial stress from the strain of buying gifts for tons of family and friends, trying to divide time between multiple sides of the family without stepping on anyone’s toes, cooking and entertaining large groups, and travel, it’s no wonder. We don’t expect all this to resolve itself the second you read this blog, but we do hope this may make you step back and think for a second.
Your family and friends want your time, not some $25 gift from Amazon. Don’t feel like you have to max out every credit card you have to make everyone happy. Plan family outings, fun events for the group, and we promise, the memories will be better than a stocking stuffer.
Don’t feel like you have to see everyone on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Make time to enjoy the holidays. Spend time with one side on Thanksgiving, and then spend time with the other side on Christmas. The following year, flip the order. You shouldn’t be watching the clock the whole time and rushing back and forth. Take time to be present.
Don’t feel bad for taking a few short cuts if you have to cook for large amounts of people. Store bought items, or pre-made deserts won’t be the end of the world, and if it means hours of your life back, and time to spend with the people there, go for it.
Don’t neglect yourself and your routine. Don’t skip the gym for weeks on end, and forget any semblance of balanced diet for days on end. You’ll have a hard time getting back into the swing of things if you do.