Completely You

Take Back the Holidays

The secret to getting back into a holiday groove? Scaling back the pressure for perfection and regai...

The holidays are here, and with them, a ton of stress. Cooking, planning, buying and wrapping gifts, taking a family portrait, sending Christmas cards, making everybody happy -- the list goes on and on and on.

Because the pressure is immense, you might begin to forget the true spirit and meaning of this season. However, there’s a different way to go about the last few weeks of the year, and you can actually enjoy every moment. Here’s how:

1. Don’t expect perfection.

You forgot to buy a present? You burnt the cookies? The stuffing’s a bit salty? So what? The world won’t end and you’ll have a funny story to laugh about next year. Do your personal best and try to be OK with it. If you don’t get to an item on your to-do list this year, then just leave it for next year. Christmas will come again, I promise.

2. Plan for trouble.

In my family, there was always, always a big fight on Christmas Eve. My mom wanted everything to be just perfect, but something always happened. I remember wondering why we had all these expectations anyway. We kids always bickered, so what was different about this day? If you mentally prepare yourself for some trouble and just take it as it comes, you’ll end up enjoying yourself a lot more.

3. Stop.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just take a moment to just breathe. Remember what the holidays are really about. A mere 10 minutes a day is often all it takes to put everything back into perspective.

4. Make it fun.

Put all the expectations aside and have some fun. Bake cookies (even if you burn them), listen to your favorite Christmas songs -- and sing along as loudly as you can -- or sit by the fireplace and read Christmas stories. Do whatever it is you enjoy and treasure about this season.

Yes, the holidays are stressful, but they’re also wonderful. Remember the true meaning of the season: Being with your loved ones and being grateful for all that you’ve experienced this year. The more you focus on these things, the more cheerful and relaxed you’ll be.

 

 


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