Everyone, including myself, is running around getting ready for the rest of the holidays, and I mean “running around”! We’re in the home stretch now for getting our homes sufficiently decorated, getting those gifts bought and in the mail, making sure all our cards are written and sent out, choosing our menus, and finalizing our holiday plans so we don’t feel left out of all “the fun” socially. Then there’s the usual busyness of housework, making meals, working jobs so we can pay the bills, raising our children, getting some sleep, and of course, finding some time for self care, like indulging in a measly workout here and there. Not to mention the little detail of having an occasional conversation with our partner, or loved ones!
As I participate in, and observe the race all around, I’ve decided that three things are important to keep in mind to preserve one’s sanity, and to actually derive some fun and meaning around the holidays:
- Check your perfectionism. Even Martha Stewart, the maven of style, class, and coziness, has legions of “elves” all around to create the illusion of perfection. So don’t buy into the invention. Instead, establish a “good enough” standard which allows for the realities of your time and energy constraints, allows you to enjoy yourself, and to stay focused on your goals for the season. At this juncture, less is more. Keep those expectations in check.
- Let others help. Don’t over-function your way into martyrdom. You’ll be a more pleasant companion if you let other people share in the labor of making holiday traditions happen. The people around you will feel more invested in activities they have helped to create. You’ll also be more rested if you don’t view the holidays as a “one man/woman show”.
- Practice the fine art of saying “no” if you are feeling maneuvered into doing more than your fair share of holiday activity. If you have a partner or sibling who seems to be bailing out on you, and expecting you to compensate for their inactivity, then draw a line in the sand, and let consequences happen. You’ll then avoid some resentment around feeling exploited.
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