You may have already decked the halls, checked the list (twice), and made the perfect gluten-free figgy pudding this holiday season, but your stress levels are higher than the perfectly positioned Christmas lights on the roof.
A survey by the American Psychological Association found that more women than men feel stressed during the Christmas season. With relatives and friends to impress (not to mention the gifts and plane tickets to buy), it can definitely make the season stressful. Here are some tips to overcome the unnecessary weight the holidays can bring, so you can let out your inner peace, instead of your inner Grinch!
Don’t Feel Like You Have To Be Everyone’s Santa Claus
If you typically feel pressured to buy gifts for everyone in your social circle but have a budget you need to stick to, politely inform everyone with a wish list that you’ll be showing your love differently this year. A thoughtful, handwritten card can easily replace the typical expensive gift card. On the flip side, if you love to bake or craft, make a few dozen gourmet cookies or treats and put them in a festive tin or bag neatly decked with a bright bow.
A thoughtful, handwritten card can easily replace the typical expensive gift card.
The Power of Saying “No”
Everyone enjoys the holiday shin-digs this time of year brings with a spectacular assortment of chef-inspired treats sure to delight any palate, but sometimes the invitations can come at a cost. If you find yourself over-volunteering your time and energy, your light will burn out like that pine-scented candle. Sure, everyone loves your aunt’s Yule log cake recipe and wants you to come to their party, but how much more special would it be if you chose to make one or two special appearances instead of a half dozen? Your health and your aunt will thank you.
Make Peace with the Scrooge in Your Life
Perhaps you have a family member you’ve been at odds with, and they make an appearance at your Ugly Christmas Sweater party. You may have been rightfully wronged by them and have yet to make amends, but don’t let it steal your peace—forgive them. Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to be best friends with them; it means you have made the decision not to let someone else’s actions negatively impact you any longer.
Forgiving someone means you have made the decision not to let someone else’s actions negatively impact you any longer.
When we forgive, we let go of the burden of wishing ill on another because, ultimately, having bitterness only hurts ourselves more than the person we’re holding a grudge against. Even if it takes a few tries, practice telling yourself you have forgiven the perpetrator and be a bigger person. Peace ultimately starts with you.
Know the “Why” of the Season
Often it’s easy to get caught up in the gifts or the whats of the holidays instead of why we celebrate the season. Winter is a time of slowing down in preparation for new growth. It's a time to reflect on the meaning of life and to savor moments spent with others.
Winter is a time of slowing down in preparation for new growth.
Rushing to and fro is seen as more of a rite of passage than a burden we carry, and we can easily neglect to take care of our body, mind, and soul. Sadly, we don’t run as efficiently as we should if we don’t stop and take time to rest. So, cozy up to that fire and grab a good book. Those who are meant to be in your life will understand that the best gift to receive is the gift of friendship and love.
May this holiday season help you to see that the most important things in life truly can't be bought. Love, joy, and peace are priceless gifts to give to yourself and to others!