As pleasant and full of joy as the holidays can be, they can also be extremely stressful. There’s a hundred things on the to-do list at any given moment, plus the added pressure of seeing family you don’t get to see very often. If you’re not careful, the stress can outweigh the good stuff, so how do you keep the scales from tipping toward the “pull-out-my-hair” instead of the “creating fond memories?” Here are a few of our favorite ways to de-stress this holiday season and soak up the best parts of all the get-togethers and celebrations instead.
Focus on Family and Friends
Loved ones is what it’s all about this time of year, really. Sometimes the pressure that comes with that can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that if things aren’t perfect, it doesn’t matter. The reason you’re here is to soak up the love that comes with spending time with the people who know you best. You’re sitting around a table together to catch up on life, share some laughs, and bask in the beauty that is getting to be exactly who you are for awhile without fear of judgment. Don’t worry about the rest, it’s not worth it!
Worrying about what to get everybody for Christmas and the like is freaking hard. Not only are some members of the family harder to shop for than others, but getting it all done, under budget, and on time, is enough to drive even the most sane of us totally bonkers. Instead of that, focus on simple gifts that mean something more than a shirt or a pair of socks or a video game. Keep it simple, with a framed photo or something handmade. Gifting well doesn’t have to be extravagant.
Think Outside the Box
Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t even material things at all. We live in a world where instant gratification is often the name of the game, which makes buying gifts even harder because people will often buy what they want for themselves as soon as they are able. How are you supposed to find a good gift for someone who has everything they need and most all of what they want already? We encourage people to think outside the box when it comes to gift giving. Give an experience, or a memory, rather than a gift. Tickets to a concert or a sporting event go a long way. Or, consider offering a family photography session as a joint gift and include a print or canvas as part of the deal.
Above all else, don’t forget to breathe. Find quiet moments in the midst of the chaos, heck, CREATE quiet moments in the midst of the chaos. If you know you’re prone to burnout, look for ways to take a step back and take it all in, or shut it all out as the case may be. The holidays can be a wonderful time full of fond memories and the people you love most, but you have to keep a handle on your stress in order to make that possibility a reality. So, you know, just pause real quick with us. Breathe in for a slow count of 4, and breathe out for the same count of 4, exhaling all the breath you can. Repeat 5-10 times as needed. Ahhh, relaxation. Happy Holidays, from the Monty Nuss family to yours!