How to Have a More Peaceful Holiday
The holiday season is upon us!
Thanksgiving, Diwali, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s Eve — no matter what you celebrate, the holidays come with plenty of festive fun. Unfortunately, the season can also come with a lot of extra pressure and stress. That may be even more true this year, with COVID-19 changing how we celebrate. Luckily there are ways around the overwhelm! Here are a few easy steps you can take to create a more peaceful holiday season.
Let Go of the Need to Be Perfect
Gourmet meals. Picture-perfect decorations. Piles of impeccably wrapped gifts. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the desire to make your holiday perfect. This is especially true if you’re a parent chasing this year’s must-have toy!
But perfection isn’t achievable, and demanding it is just a recipe for disappointment. So let your kids help decorate, even if the result doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine. Let your partner cook a meal, even if they don’t follow the recipe exactly. Snuggle up on the couch and watch your favorite holiday movie instead of spending hours on gift wrapping. You’ll enjoy your holidays a lot more, and make more lasting happy memories with your family, if you’re willing to embrace a little chaos.
Make—and Stick with—a Budget
Even if you’re not spending money on travel and parties during this COVID holiday season, costs can still add up quickly. Worrying over spending can cause a lot of stress, especially during a time when many families are already feeling an economic crunch. So be proactive! Take a little time to set a realistic holiday budget, one that allows you to celebrate and feel festive but that won’t leave you drowning in debt come January 1. Communicate spending limits to your family, and check in with weekly money dates to make sure you’re not straying off course.
You can also have fun getting creative with gift-giving! The most memorable gifts are often not the most lavish. Treat your loved ones to something homemade or to an experience you can enjoy together. Remember, the holidays are about presence, not presents.
Schedule Time for Yourself
Now more than ever, we need to prioritize self-care. The holidays can feel hectic, so make sure you take some downtime on a regular basis to do something that relaxes you – take a nap, read a good book, go for a long walk, or take a bubble bath.
And if this holiday season doesn’t feel particularly festive, give yourself permission to acknowledge your emotions. Sometimes a little quiet reflection is just what you need to get back to the festivities with a little more cheer.
Keep Up with Healthy Habits
Get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions by making good choices throughout the holiday season! Move your body regularly. Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. Choose a lighter meal once in a while and make sure to load your plate with vegetables as well as cookies.
Of course, you should enjoy your favorite holiday treats. But if you balance them out with healthy choices, you’ll head into the new year looking and feeling healthy, rested, and ready for whatever 2021 has in store.
Remember the Magic!
As adults, holiday celebrations can sometimes feel like just one more thing on our to-do list. But remember, the holidays are supposed to be fun! Think back to your favorite holiday memories as a child, and try to find ways to reconnect with that feeling of magic. The lights, the scents, the special food, the feeling of anticipation and surprise – it’s all still here, if we just slow down and acknowledge it.