You decorated, cleaned, cooked, baked and changed the sheets. You checked everything off your list. Then you went back for round two and checked it off twice. But your palms are still sweaty. Your heart is pounding. Your face is flush and your breath’s short. Any second now that doorbell is going to ring and usher in a season of festive “in-law” cheer.
To them, their presence is the best holiday gift they could bring. But for you, the anxiety from the expectations to entertain and host may be overwhelming. But don’t worry! If you make a list and stick to it, you’ll be sure survive the “relatively” stressful holiday season.
Here are five places to start.
- Create something that brings you joy. Building, designing, constructing and creating are great ways to take your mind off the stress of the holidays. Doing something you enjoy can provide distance from stress and give you time to recharge your spirit. And, yes, it’s OK to be a little selfish and just focus on you for a little bit. It’s the same concept as the instruction you’re given on an airplane regarding the emergency oxygen mask. Put on your own oxygen mask first; that way you’re better equipped to take care of others.
- Help someone you don’t know; who can’t pay you back. There are countless opportunities to help the widows, orphans and the sick this time year. Doing something for a person you don’t know who can’t return the gesture can actually pay off in some unexpected ways. Playing the role of the Good Samaritan not only stretches you out of your comfort zone, but it can be a great way to give the greatest gift of all – your compassion.
- Discover something new about someone. It’s really amazing how little we know about our family and friends. Use the holidays as a time to learn something new about someone you care about. Find activities that invite discussion – host a game night or a gingerbread house building party. Go on a walk around the block with your aunt, or ask your nephew to show you his latest car interest. You may be surprised by what you learn, and discover you have more in common than you thought.
- Share your struggles! If you know the holidays will be a time of struggle for you, let someone you trust know about it. Choose a couple of close friends who can serve as a support group. Let them know what your triggers might be, and ask them if you can check in and let them know how things are going.
- Look up! The holidays are replete with opportunities to bolster your spirituality. You don’t have to be religious to find the kind of soulful healing that comes from this time of year. When you’re feeling down, or stressed, or anxious – look up. Look towards that higher power in your life, be it God, a patron saint, meditation, scripture or prayer. Connecting with your higher power allows you to find strength that may otherwise seem out of reach.
If you are looking to find some peace this holiday season, please give us a call or email us. We can help you get the most out of this holiday season.