We love holiday season–the smells, the decorations, the food! Sometimes, though, what makes the holidays so wonderful is also what makes it so dang stressful. Don’t get swept up in the hustle and bustle. Instead, make it your intention to slowly move through the holiday season, keeping close to you what is most important–peace of mind!
Don’t be scared to say no
If you want to have a slow, quiet, stress-free holiday season, you’re going to have to do something uncomfortable, and that is saying no to people. Your time and attention are precious, and you need to be able to budget enough emotional reserves to handle all the chaos the holiday season can bring. When you say yes while your heart says no, you are doing a disservice to yourself. You will start to build up resentment towards your loved ones. Protect your energy and make time for what really matters to you. Then, you will go into it with more love and excitement because you are well-rested and you took care of yourself. Sometimes, you need to say no so you can recharge!
Focus on the traditions that resonate with you
If you find yourself dreading attending midnight mass on Christmas eve, or going to that work Christmas gathering, drop it. Pick the traditions you genuinely love, that spark warmth and joy in you, and only do those. Don’t try to do everything, or you will burn out and resent the holidays altogether. Don’t feel like you need to fill your calendar with commitments for the sake of the holidays. Instead, leave free time to spend with your family however you like, doing the traditions you want to do.
Don’t let gift-giving make you feel sick
It is the thought behind the gift, not the amount of money you spend. In order to alleviate stress in this area, create a plan for gift-giving. Narrow down your list, use your creativity and make gifts for people, and if you have children, have them create a list with something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. This will give you structure and take away the financial worry that puts a damper on the holidays. In addition, you won’t feel so inclined to rush to the crowded and stressful shops to pick up last-minute gifts because you feel like you didn’t get enough. Using your creativity to make gifts for people is not only fun, but therapeutic and will help you slow down and step out of “go, go, go!” mode.
Just take everything in
Light your favorite Christmas candle, get into your cozy pajamas, snuggle under the blanket, and take it all in. Admire your tree and all your decorations, reminisce on holidays of the past with your family, and allow yourself to rest. You deserve it!
Holiday season is not easy for everyone. If you find yourself slipping into a depression, or are feeling more anxious than usual, we are always here. Contact us and we will pair you with the right fit therapist for your unique needs. Your mind will thank you!
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.