While we’ve always loved Christmas, the holiday season is a notoriously stressful time. Bringing together families can be a demanding time for the best of us, and ensuring it runs smoothly? An extra dose of stress! Trying to manage family dynamics, politics and expectations at Christmas comes at a price, and ensuring you enjoy the season can at times feel almost impossible.
Here are our top 5 tips for holding it together this silly season:
- Say NO! Repeat after me, “I do not have to do (or be) everything to everyone”. In fact, repeat it ten times (and I’ll join you)! It’s OK to say no to things that simply don’t work for you. Whether that’s a lunch with friends, a late night out or having family camping out in your backyard over the holiday. Make sure you limit the number of things that you commit to and feel OK about saying “no!” to things that don’t work. Try, “that doesn’t work for me/us,” and you’ll be surprised at how well it can go!
- KIS(S) Keep it super simple (or keep it simple, stupid)! Focus on keeping the day simple, and where possible, ask for help from people around you. Be over-prepared! Keep lists of the things that you need to do and tick them off one by one. A good tip is to take a photo of your list and save it for the following year, it will save you a whole lot of painful planning!
- Lower those expectations. Don’t aim for perfect, aim for happy! The kids don’t need freshly baked croissants in the morning – buy the frozen ones instead. You don’t need to focus on trying to execute every little detail to perfection – there’s other things to do! – take a deep breath and lower your expectation.
- Know your pain points. Is there a family issue that sets you off, or is it getting the turkey done on time? Think about the day in advance, understand what drives stress for you and try to be as planned about it as possible.
- Catch the moment! Pause, breathe (slowly) and enjoy the moment. Put your phone away. If you’ve got young kids, take in the moment of them pouncing out of bed to rush to see what’s under the Christmas tree. Enjoy it! These moments don’t last forever, and there’s a lot to be grateful for. Be there, fully there (not behind a lens) while they open their dream present. That’s where the true magic of Christmas lies!
On that note, gratitude is paramount – especially in trying situations. It’s only one day out of the 365 days of the year and there are many people who started out in 2019 who aren’t here to celebrate with their families.
Stay positive, have a very merry Christmas and we’ll see you on the other side!