Seven Ways to Have the Best Holidays Ever
Now that the holiday season is here, many of us may quickly become bogged down in busyness, stress, and feelings of overwhelm. Instead, our holidays should be a time for joy, peace, and celebration. We all could use a lot of that this year! Here are 7 tips to help turn that dynamic around and create your desired holiday magic.
Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to experience over the holidays and make a plan to accomplish that. Life has changed dramatically for all of us this year. As a result, we have all had time to reflect on what really matters. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, you might find yourself getting swept along by others’ desires. Even if you compromise later, get clear first. Give yourself a break. It really is the thought that counts.
Handle the holiday as a project: Once you are clear on what you want and how you wish to approach the holidays, the next step is to get clear about all the details and actions it will take to keep it easier to accomplish. Don't try to manage all the details for the experience in your head. Map out what you want to do in an outlined list or a graphic mindmap. Break out the details until you can see what needs to be done in easy steps. Don't forget the financial piece. Make a budget for both your time and your money—and stick to it.
Ditch Perfection. Even perfect happiness—just isn’t possible. What do the holidays mean to you? For many, it’s about family and friends and spirituality. If an item doesn’t add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off. Think simple as much as you can. Ditch the idea of figuring out the perfect gift if it keeps you stuck. Let your best be good enough.
Don't overcommit. Avoid saying "Yes" to people-pleasing. It’s very liberating. Try it and see. It helps to first plan out and be prepared with your graceful-outs. This refers to what you will say to acknowledge and honor what's asked, yet hold your ground. Or, at the least be prepared with a statement that allows you to pause before making a commitment for impromptu requests. "That sounds like fun, let me think it through and I will get back to you by..." It sounds simple, but too often obligation overrides desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would improve your wellbeing, minimize stress, and leave you in a happier place.
Take good care of yourself. Making self-care a daily priority is so important. It's how we sleep, what we choose to eat, when we exercise and building in much-needed downtime to recharge and refresh that supports our best brains. The holidays are no exception. In fact, the holidays are a time when we have to be more vigilant about this more than ever.
Adjusting to the times. Consider the experience of others around you as well as your own. The pandemic has been a major life-changing event for all of us. It's likely someone you know is suffering from increased anxiety, situational overwhelm, and personal loss because of this. The inability to do what has traditionally occurred can trigger grief and sadness. Look for some creative ideas to establish new traditions, get creative on how to be together, reach out to someone who is likely going through a tough time.
Get support. Be willing to ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you’ll be. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Reach out for the support you need.
Whose still needing to plan and prepare for the holidays? Here is a great tool you can use to help you get organized and on track with next steps.
Click and download this holiday planning worksheet
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