Episode 42: Cheerful And Chilled Out: Staying Sane And Stress Free This Holiday Season
Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and Christmas is not far behind. If you're anything like us, the holiday season brings with it a mix of delight and dread. We're excited to partake in all this season has to offer, but sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming. This week we discuss some ways we're practicing staying sane this holiday season in the hopes of inspiring you to live your best, stress free holiday life. If you have any tips of your own to share, let us know over on Instagram!
- Prioritize the things you want to do during each season so you can say no to the things that don't fit the mold. The older we get, the more opportunities we have to do more things and unless we map out what's most important, we'll fall prey to over scheduling ourselves.
- In the same vein, you can't do everything. You can't go to every Christmas party, there are only so many weekends in December. You're just one person and you may have to remind yourself of that several times over the next couple of months.
- Say no to feeling guilty about the things you say no to. If sending Christmas cards isn't for you or you don't like to decorate for each holiday or if you can't stand to make one more pie or batch of cookies, don't feel guilty about not doing those things.
- You can free yourself from a lot of holiday guilt by staying off social during this season. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can be such a catch 22 during this season because while you can feel inspired with new ideas by seeing what other people are doing, it's so easy to start playing the comparison game and feel less than because you're family isn't doing what another family is doing.
- Don't get so stuck on upholding traditions that you miss out on creating new ones or don't enjoy the ones you have. It's so easy to get caught up in trying to make things like they used to be that the tradition loses its luster and time passes without creating new traditions of your own.
- Have an activity to allow yourself to get away and recharge during the hustle and bustle of this season. Maybe you're getting a massage once a month or you're taking a bath and reading a book every couple days. Whatever it is, don't neglect self care during this time.
- You can't please everyone. Whether you're learning to meld two families and their traditions or trying to make your own, navigating changing traditions can be tricky and all you can do is handle this time with tact and grace.
- Have a go-to playlist on deck for when you're doing quintessential holiday activities (think: baking, wrapping presents, cooking). Folk Angel and Sufjan Stevens are some of KB's faves.
- Don't get so wrapped up on the "doing" that you forget to enjoy the "being". This is especially hard with traveling and trying to check as many activities off your list as possible while you're in town.
- Alternate between giving gifts and having an activity you participate in as a family. Christmas shopping can contribute to holiday stress, but replacing gift giving with a festive event can relieve some of that stress. Go to Christmas production or play, eat a fancy dinner, take a carriage ride, see The Nutcracker, go look at Christmas lights and cheers to the fact that you're spending time as a family instead of spending time in line at Target.
- Don't feel like you have to buy presents for everyone in your life or spend a lot of money on what you buy. Between your kid's teachers, your co-workers, your Bible study group, etc. you could end up blowing your budget before you even look to your family and closest friends. You have to draw the line somewhere, but if you do decide on giving gifts, don't overestimate the power of a simple gesture. A bag of Chex mix, a batch of cookies, or a jar of spiced tea go a long way.
- Create routine during the holiday season. Don't forget about sleeping, exercising, eating healthy food, drinking water and doing the things that make you feel good. Keeping your routines in check will not only help you feel better over the next few months, but it will help reduce the holiday hangover come January 1.
- Do all or most of your shopping online so you don't have to brave the stores and deal with crowds and trying to find a parking spot and all that stress.
- Delegate and prepare. Not everything has to be homemade, so delegate to Costco or Sams. And prepare by making dishes ahead of time and freezing them. Make lists and plan ahead to keep yourself sane.