The holidays are upon us, and if you are like most of the women I know, you are already stressing out. Even the American Psychological Association have studied the stress of the holidays on women in particular. According to their findings, “Women say they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations, such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning.” Sound familiar?
If so, you are not alone! They even made a film about this exact thing last year called Bad Moms 2. The film is all about how to take back control of the holiday season. Knowing that we are heading straight into what is the most stressful time of year for women, let’s talk about how to de-stress your holidays.
Manage your expectations.
First, you need to give yourself a reality check. As much as we all love Insta-worthy holidays, we need to manage our expectations. The table settings may not look just like they did on Pinterest, but let’s choose to focus on getting the meal on the table and the family and friends gathered around it.
We all get caught up dreaming of perfect Christmas moments, and then we end up let down when reality doesn’t line up with our expectations. Instead, embrace the fun and the faults of the holidays. My biggest tip - Do not expect anything to be perfect.
Less is more.
It is so easy to get caught up in the more, more, more mentality of the holiday season. There are so many events, so many decorations, and so many presents to buy. But, here’s the thing. When we just do more and more, we wind up loving the holidays less and less.
Attend fewer events and spend more time in your Christmas pajamas watching movies with the ones you love. Put up fewer decorations and feel less cluttered – and less overwhelmed when it is time to pack it all back up. Don’t go crazy buying presents. It’s better to buy something that will be well loved than a bunch of things that will only last a season.
Do what you love.
If you want to take control of the holiday season, then do what you love. This also means not doing what you hate. So, if your family and friends want you to host and cook an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner and you despise cooking, just say no. Find a compromise, such as you will host and decorate, but someone else can cook the meal. If you love Black Friday shopping, then make it a priority to go! If you love to go look at Christmas lights, then add it to the calendar.
The point - Every yes is a no to something else, so choose wisely.
Have a plan. And a plan to toss your plans.
If you don’t want to lose your sanity between now and the New Year, it is a good idea to have a plan. However, this is a plan written in pencil, not in permanent marker. Write down the events you want to attend foremost, and then see if you have space to add anything else to your busy holiday calendar. Make a Thanksgiving menu and plan your table settings in advance.
But, be prepared to make adjustments. Something will go wrong, and your plans will go out the window. If you go into the holidays with this in mind, you won’t melt down when it actually happens.