Friday, December 19, 2014
Relax--It's Just Christmas!
This post first appeared in It's All In Your Head on December 16, 2013
As I look around my house, I see the Christmas tree which still needs to be decorated, gifts to be wrapped, other decorations to be hung, groceries to be bought, a house to be cleaned, goodies to be baked...yet, oddly enough, I’m more relaxed now than I have been in a long time. You see, even though I’m having Christmas dinner for over 50 people, I know that whatever I do will be enough.
As we approach these last few days before Christmas, how are your holiday plans coming along? Judging by the scowls on the faces of the people I passed at the mall yesterday, many of us are not embracing the Christmas spirit. I suspect many of you are stressing out, wondering how you're going to get everything done and waiting for December 26th when this whole "Christmas thing" will be over. If you’re one of these overly stressed people this Holiday season, here are some tips to help you calm down:
• Focus only on what you can accomplish today. Make a list of what remains to be done. Then prioritize the tasks and work on a few each day. But only think about what you're doing today, not all of the things that need to be done tomorrow and the day after.
• Enlist the help of family members. Use these Holiday tasks as a way to do things together as a family. I know – most of these things are more like work than fun – but, who knows, that last minute shopping trip or putting up the decorations may start a new Holiday tradition for you and your family.
• If you still have gifts to buy, go when the stores first open or at dinner time -- it's less crowded. Take a list and have a plan. The idea is to get in, buy what you need, and get out before the crowds start...unless the frenzy of Christmas shopping is part of the Holiday experience for you.
• Baking still not finished? Hop on the internet and go to www.semihomemade.com. You’ll find some great dessert ideas that can be whipped up in a fraction of the time because they’re only semi-homemade.
• Ease up on the cleaning. No one is searching the corners of your home for cobwebs or dust. And you'll only have to clean again after your guests leave. So, if the house isn’t spotless, it’s okay!
• Now more than ever, it’s important to eat healthy foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. Healthy habits will help keep your stress levels down, and you’ll feel better about everything.
• Don’t obsess about everything being perfect. Take a deep breath and believe that you’ve done your best, given time limits and the mood you're in. In an imperfect world, doing your best is perfection.
• Lastly, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t allow someone else’s Holiday expectations to bring you down. It’s more important to do what you’re comfortable doing than trying to hit a target someone else has set for you.
So give yourself permission to relax and have a little fun this Holiday season. Make this a season of peace and calm for yourself, and that peace and calm will spread to those around you. And, trust me... everything will work out just the way it’s supposed to.
It IS All In Your Head!