5 Tips to Manage the Holidays

The holiday season brings tons of joy but also tons of stress. From avoiding Covid, deciding what events to go to and which dinners to cook, it’s a lot. These are a few of my tips to manage the holiday stress!

Progress > perfection

How much of your holiday stress is self inflicted? Meaning, how much stress are you putting on yourself?

It’s human nature to want things to go perfectly. But when does anything go perfectly? So often we go into the holidays with perfection in mind. The perfect dinner, the perfect gift, the perfect party.

But does that ever happen? Usually not.

Often, a lot of our holiday stress is self inflicted, because we are focusing on perfection.

Are you able to let go of the idea that everything will be perfect? And lean into the idea that something will end up burnt, someone will spill a drink everywhere, and it will all be ok in the end?

Make a game plan

Planning is one of my favorite things I’ve realized. I have lists everywhere. For me (and many others) there is a specific reason for that.

Planning makes me write my ideas down and get them out of my head. I get overwhelmed when all the details are in my head. I struggle with my memory and often forget stuff. Writing things down is my antidote.

Plan anything and everything. What you need to get at the store, when you need to cook things, who needs what gifts, etc. etc.

Then, you’re also able to ask for help easier as well. When you know what needs to get done, giving it to others is simple.

Also plan what events you’re attending, what is a must attend, maybe attend and not at all.

Check in with yourself often

When we’re running around doing all the things, it’s easy to ignore your body. It’s easy to care for everyone else and not yourself.

But this is what lands us in trouble and in a flare, right?

Ignoring our bodies whispers until they become screams?

Brining the attention back to yourself and body throughout the day can be the answer.

Ask yourself often: What do I need right now? What would be best for my body?

This would be a great journaling exercise for the morning, or set an alarm a few times a day to check in with yourself and breathe.

Decide boundaries ahead of time

Boundaries are how we protect our energy and frankly sanity. Deciding on these before you’re faced with the situation is a good idea.

Are you willing to eat some foods you normally don’t? What is an absolute no? Are there topics you’re not willing to talk about?

Think of what you need to set a boundary for, and then what your boundary is, before you have to enact them. This not only helps you uphold it but it helps you realize what are priorities for you.

Get sunlight in the AM

This seems a bit odd compared to the rest, but so often a reason we struggle during the holidays is the lack of daylight. After daylight savings ends, it seems like we’re all of a sudden thrust into darkness with only a few hours of daylight.

This lack of daylight can lead to an increase in depressive feelings and sadness.

Getting morning sunlight will not only help your mood, your circadian rhythms will benefit too. Which just helps you to sleep that much better.

Alternatively, a sun lamp would be the next best thing!

Take away:

Be intentional this holiday season. Be intentional with where you put your energy and who you give your energy too. Ask your body what you need and advocate for it. Don’t let it be another year of rushing around tons of added stress. Be proactive in managing holiday stress and you’ll find you don’t have as much to manage.

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