I came to a big decision a couple of nights ago: I really want to enjoy the holidays.
I realized I was enjoying, but not really enjoying, the holiday season, you know? I decided I could simplify the holidays even more, without sapping the joy and meaning from this special time of year.
The trick, it seemed to me, would be to try a little harder than I had been. Success would only come if I agreed to let stuff go. Instead of replaying the same thing over and over, this was the year I really needed to make a huge change. A lasting change. A change that could impact my life, and hopefully the lives of my family, forever.
How about you? How does a stress-free month of holiday events, family gatherings, office parties, and everything else, sound to you?
Because it sounds damn good to me. I feel like, if I can finally get things right, I should be able to look forward to this time of year, every year, for the rest of my life. Actually, I think it’s a lot easier than I thought possible, too.
Follow along if you want this for yourself.
Here are my guidelines for stress-free (and much more enjoyable) holidays this year, and every year from now on:
Cutting and More Cutting
Not of ribbons and turkey slices. But of all the time-sucking things I no longer want to do. Or no longer have the ability to do. Not if they take a moment away from my health or happiness, or my family’s health or happiness, that is. And, you know what? I guarantee nobody will care about most of it anyway. Perspective is my new favorite word. What happened in the past was because of who I was back then. I’m only doing what the present me is capable of doing this year.
Lowering My Expectations
I got tired of disappointment, so I finally took the time to learn why it happens. This year, my expectations will be at an all-time low, but in a good way. I’m thinking of expecting only what’s sane and doable for a normal group of people who actually have things going on, besides, you know, holidays. And if our holidays don’t look like scenes out of a Hallmark movie, we’ll turn on the TV, which is okay too.
Accepting What Is
For instance, though I’d love to visit everyone I know over the holidays, the truth is, it just isn’t gonna happen. I accept we can still care about people from a distance, and we can still love our friends when they’re not included in our holiday plans. Because life changes and people move on, I’m forgiving myself for not getting in touch with every single person I’ve ever met, all before year’s end. Not any more.
Gratitude Up the Wazoo
Grateful my children are all together under one roof. Grateful my husband and I are healthy enough to spend time with them. Grateful for a good meal, a walk after dinner, a board game and a few laughs. Or anything else I can be grateful for, like a loyal pet and a friendly neighbor. Done and done.
Which I’m not usually. This is an ongoing goal of mine, and I’m putting it even more to the test this year. Whatever happens, happens, and a change of plans can be a good thing. At least I’m telling myself that. Wish me luck on this one. Though I really feel this is the year I’m finally going to get it right.
Just because I did certain things before, doesn’t mean I have to do it now. Change is good anyway. I’m not the only person who can bake something, decorate something, plan something, and all the rest. Someone else might even be better at it. I’m willing to find out who.
Instead of pushing them aside. I mean, how healthy is that anyhow? If something brings on the emotions, I’m going with it. I’m not talking shouting matches and insults, but I’m thinking about feeling stuff without guilt or judgement at this potentially tender time of year. Feeling is good. Pretending isn’t.
Because that’s really all there is. Half full instead of half empty and whatever we make of it. Finding joy in little things and enjoying our time together. Next year is never promised, so making the most of today is more important than ever.
For obvious reasons, and as much as humanly possible during extra busy times of year. There are plenty of ways to infuse fun and magic into other people’s lives that don’t involve staying up all night. I don’t care what I miss, I’m never losing sleep over holidays again.
Are there any ideas on my list that might work for you, too? Drop me a comment to let me know about your stress-free holiday season this year.
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!