(Inside: The holidays are always a little love/hate thing for any adult. So much going on and so little time to really enjoy everything. And sometimes, the stress can be overwhelming. This is How to Keep your Holiday Stress Low, because it’s important to just have fun.)
The holidays are supposed to be a celebratory time.
A happy time.
A time where we look at each other and we are thankful that we have each other, give presents and eat food in peace. Why doesn’t it ever end up that way?
Usually, in my experience, the holiday wraps up is with exhaustion, hating everything and everyone and just ready to call it quits.
Holidays don’t have to be stressful. It is all in our hands to keep control of, whether we believe it or not.
Try these few tips for how keep your holiday stress to a minimum–and maybe you won’t come out the other side ready to cry/tear your hair out/check yourself into a mental hospital.
How To Keep Your Holiday Stress Low
Keep the Plan Simple
Everybody has a beautiful vision of how they want their holiday to go and it usually starts with some overblown production on Pinterest.
They look good, but they will lead you down the path of overwhelming, disappointment and dissatisfaction very quickly.
All of those things? Pretty stressful.
Instead of coming up with a complex set of decorations, menus, and wrappings, keep everything low key.
Remember, simple doesn’t have to be boring. Simple can be classy, elegant, and bold while not being difficult.
Say “No” to Over Committing
Do not commit to more than what you have time for–and you don’t have as much time as you think you do.
For a quick rule of thumb, take however much time you think a project will take, then double it.
That will leave you plenty of time to work without feeling rushed, hurried or harassed.
Oftentimes, the people in your life will want a speedy or immediate answer but do not allow them to rush you, or be willing to walk away from the project with a “no” if they need an answer before you are prepared to fully commit.
Saying no and lending a hand later is better than saying yes and not coming through.
And remember, this applies to yourself, too.
You do not have to do every project you see on Pinterest.
YOU DO NOT.
It’s ok to wait until next year to make that Hyggie Village Harry Potter Advent Calendar…resist the overcommit!
Remember: You Do Not Have to Impress Anyone
For real. Repeat that to yourself over and over.
I know I am.
The holidays are not about impressing people.
If you have small kids, big kids, a house; hell, if you’re breathing, you are LIVING while all this holiday-sh*t is going on.
So you still have regular stuff to do and take care of–and this holiday stuff is about being together.
Not about who has the most crazy level of pie-decorating-ability in your family or who has the cleanest house.
You do you–and just be with the family. Don’t try to impress. It’s so not worth it.
And anybody that wants to disagree can eff off.
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Love Your Family for a Limited Time
We all love our families, but we also know that every family relationship is not an easy one. Because of that, you are well within your rights to put a time limit on the holiday time spent on them.
For relatives that are particularly stressful, go in with an exit plan.
Set a timer, agree with your spouse and do not deviate from the plan no matter what the other parties involved might say.
This allows you to spend time with the relatives that are a little more difficult without sparing your sanity.
Never forget that gift bags exist
I know that you want to do it all. I know that you want beautiful presents that look like they were done professionally and they look amazing in pictures.
Every single present doesn’t have to be wrapped that way, and the sooner you get used to that idea, the better off you’ll be.
That’s right, when you’re old and don’t have carpal tunnel from spending hours working the tape and the paper, you’ll thank me.
Find yourself gift bags that go along with the theme of your presents, wrap what you must wrap for prettiness’s sake, and let the rest GO.
We are streamlining this holiday.
Speaking of streamlining, be sure to pin this post so you can come back to it next year–so you can keep holiday stress low then, too.
I know you have to deal with people begging you to do extra things. I know that you are going to feel guilty about wanting to do all of the things.
I want you to stay strong because I also know this: you don’t have time for this crap. You deserve some peace, quiet and calm.
And you are going to give it to yourself by following these rules for once.
Happy holidays, and don’t let them stress you out!