Got stress? Many people experience a lot of extra stress this time of year. There are just so many things to do–parties to attend or even host, cards to buy, write and send, gifts to buy and wrap, the house to prepare or travel plans to arrange… The list just goes on. But you don’t have to let the stress get the best of you this Christmas season. Following are a few tips to help you manage that Christmas stress.
Check Your Expectations
What are you expecting of yourself, other people and circumstances? Make sure your expectations are reasonable. Are you expecting Uncle Joe to be sober at Christmas dinner, even though you’ve never seen that before? Are you expecting everyone to get along even though the norm is lots of bickering? Are you expecting yourself to be the hostess with the most-est and to spend quality time with everyone at the same time?
At Christmas time, it’s easy to have unrealistic expectations. We see picture-perfect holiday gatherings in advertisements and movies and we want that for ourselves. But reality can be a far cry from perfect. You can take a powerful step by examining your expectations and adjusting them to be achievable by you and everyone else.
Christmas doesn’t have to look a certain way to be awesome. Dinner can be pizza instead of ham, you can skip the gifts, and you can even go for a nice hike with some special people and it’d still be Christmas. Maybe it’d be even more memorable than usual.
What do you really want out of Christmas? Time together? Fun and games? Good food? If your flexible, you’re more likely to get what you really want. Wanting to make things turn out a very specific way can cause unnecessary stress for you and for the people around you.
You get to decide what’s really important to you. As the day draws closer, you may need to choose between thoroughly cleaning the house and decorating it. There may not be time to go by your parent’s house and your spouse’s parents house, too. Decide what’s most important to you.
We at Simply Great Lives encourage you to prioritize people over things and relationships over activities. And in my opinion,, relationships aren’t better because we were together on a specific holiday. In fact, squeezing everything into the one day can be pretty limiting. So making a date to do something special together after Christmas can be a good option that’s more enjoyable and rewarding.
Try chilling out for Christmas and see what it’s like to focus more on the people instead of on traditions and details that aren’t as valuable as people’s feelings and sense of being valued by you. You can really bless other people and have less stress, too.