The Holidays can be a fun and active time, preparing and decorating for family and friends getting together. It can also bring with it some stress. What happens when what should be a happy time brings on stress and anxiety? Be mindful of the reasons and you can make the holidays a more enjoyable time.
Manage Your Expectations
Do you have unrealistic expectations for the holidays? Do you envision a perfectly cooked and delicious multi-course meal, an extravagantly decorated house fit for a magazine spread, and a house full of people creating the perfect family scrapbook memory? We sometimes set these expectations so high for ourselves that we cannot possibly meet them. When the reality doesn’t match with the image in our heads, we are disappointed. These expectations can set up for stress and anxiety that can take away from – or even ruin – what should be a happy time.
Redefine The Perfect Holiday
Think about your image of the perfect holiday. Is it realistic? Or unattainable? Might you be setting yourself up for failure? Give some thought to your priorities for the season. What are the most important things? Is it the decorations and food, or is it spending time with loved ones? Is there something you would be willing to compromise on so that you could be more at ease during this time?
Decide on the most important things – the things you will remember years from now. Odds are, no one will remember if the table was perfectly set or if the green beans were cold. What they will remember is the good conversations, funny things that happened, or the warm feeling of being surrounded by loved ones. If you are stressed or worried about whether the turkey is dry or the linens match, you won’t be contributing positively to that happy feeling!
Enjoy and Be Grateful!
The holidays are a time to be grateful for all the positive aspects of your life. Taking moments to reflect on the positives and let go of negativity and unfair expectations can really help you enjoy the holiday season much more. Remember that you are making memories, and that the happiest memories are of being with people you love!