Holidays are supposed to be fun. Right? But they often turn into hectic instead of joyous times. Between shopping for gifts, attending parties, and planning family activities, there’s little time left to relax and enjoy the season. How often do you miss the fun because of the stress you create for yourself? By rethinking what this time of year means to you and taking a few minutes each day to cushion yourself, the stress of the busy season will melt away. Here are some tips on how to put the true meaning of the season back into your life.
Don’t let the commercialization of the holidays trump the true meaning and joy it brings you. Celebrate the season the way that’s meaningful by having the kind of holiday YOU want, not what merchandisers want you to have. Take the emphasis off grand gestures and indulge yourself in simple acts of pleasure. You don’t have to get caught up in the “There’s only X shopping days ‘til Christmas” syndrome. Retain the real meaning and celebrate the season YOUR way.
One of the biggest myths about the holidays is that we have to do things the way we’ve always done them—to excess. This requirement sometimes throws people into a frenzied whirlwind that includes shopping, planning parties and baking—all on top of an already hectic everyday schedule. Break or downsize old habits. Tradition is part of the holiday season. But just because you’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t power down the excess and still practice traditions.
If you’ve been shopping all day in the crush of crowds, the last thing you want at the end of the day is more noise and chaos. Be an angel to yourself. When loved ones have gone to bed, indulge in a moment alone in front of the holiday decorations. Reflect on what the season means to you, create a cozy, private spot where you can relax undisturbed and contemplate on the season. Meditate on soothing holiday music. Savor pleasant memories from holidays past with scented candles, a brewed pot of cinnamon-and-cloves potpourri, or the smell of fresh baked cookies. Or browse through greeting cards and photos of holidays past.
Know where to draw the line. If you’re rushing to buy more gifts, cook more food, get to yet another party, make a conscious effort to slow down your pace. Gift yourself with built-in “seasonal time cushions” to unwind and relax and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. You really can enjoy the holiday activities without “holidazing” yourself. When you’re already emotionally maxed out, don’t feel like you have to go to every party or buy every person a gift. Your mail carrier will forgive you.
Put yourself at the top of your holiday list and come up for air. Take time out from the festivities if you need to. Immerse yourself in a good book, hot bath, or craft. Keep your exercise regimen going throughout the season and get plenty of sleep. Short walks or meditating for a few minutes can help you unwind and clear your head. By gifting yourself a few extra moments to take care of yourself, you’ll have a lot more to give and you and your loved ones can enjoy the fun and avoid the holidaze.
What about you? Share some of your tips for enjoying the season without becoming “holidazed.”