Oh, the holidays. What a magical time of the year. Christmas is right around the corner, joy and glee are in the air, and family from all around are coming together! You find yourself responding to the same “what are you doing for the holidays?” question over and over, as well as seeing thousands of picturesque photos of people’s family’s, trees, homes, lights, etc. This can be a bit overwhelming with all the activities we may still have to complete!
So…ENOUGH already…this holiday season (because it’ll be here any second), let’s be a little kinder to ourselves—as in, give ourselves a break!
1. Avoid Competition—At All Costs
Remember that scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas when Betty Lou Who was competing with Martha May Whovier for the best lights in Whoville? This is the equivalent to comparing your Christmas cards, trees, lights, homes, etc. to everyone else’s you see on social media. Step away from that comparison and focus on the people you love and the private memories you make—not the ones everyone sees you make. Those are fleeting; the real ones last a lifetime.
2. Saying No is fine!
The holidays are an inherently busy time of year with parties, school wrapping up, concerts and plays, shopping and wrapping, decadent meal planning…the whole nine yards. You can only be in so many places at once, and complete so many tasks. If you have the energy and the desire, go for it. But if you find you’re saying yes to too many things in a week (or a day), slow down. There’s no shame in only being able to do so much, and you’ll enjoy what you DO complete so much more. Simplify in your focus. What you focus on grows,
3. Remember What Who the Holidays Are About
With that overwhelming feeling, you may feel pulled in a thousand different directions: the kitchen, mall, work, the secret room in your house where you do the gift wrapping. We need to remember that we MAKE time the to have those precious memories with your family and dearest friends. These are the memories that your kids will remember when they have families of their own. Setting that standard that family is the most important thing is crucial. So, bring the kids to the mall with you (when you can); bake cookies with them, not just for them; snuggle up and read a Christmas book or watch a holiday movie together and leave your phone on the charger. Take time to be PRESENT this holiday season. It’s truly the greatest gift you can give, not just to those around you, but equally as importantly, to yourself.
Blake Kraussel, Director of Administration and Employee Development