3 Things That Ruin Holiday Cheer
The holiday season can be a time of joy, laughter and good cheer. It can also be a very, very stressful period.
Many people set unrealistic expectations for themselves and others. They overspend, overindulge, and over tax their time and energy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, ”The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.”
This Too Shall Pass
With all the demands family, friends, co-workers and others (including ourselves) place on us during the holiday season, it’s important to recognize the various ways we can take care of ourselves. The main thing to realize is the holiday season will pass. It is not an never-ending period of time. Here are a few things you can do to get through the season and come out the other side without regretting things.
1. Pace yourself. You don’t have to do it all. It may seem like you do, but truth be told, knowing when to decline invitations to social gatherings, in order to preserve your energy (and sanity) is important.
2. Set a budget and stick with it. Determine what you can comfortably afford. Truth be told, many of the “gotta have” gifts are quickly tossed aside and forgotten. One thing way to overspend is to buy only what you can pay cash for. Even online purchases can be done in a way that you are not building up debt in the coming year.
3. Pace yourself with any shopping you are planning. The stress of dealing with other stressed shoppers can quickly turn a fun outing into a miserable experience. Shop in blocks of time rather than spending endless time at the malls.
4. Shop online to avoid crowds. This is one of the best ways to get your shopping done, but remember your budget. It’s easy to go over budget when all you have to do is press a button.
5. Realize you don’t have to buy something for every person you know. “Guilt buying” is not true gift giving. Buying out of obligation takes a lot of the fun out of the experience.
6. Determine if it’s necessary to spend untold amounts of time sending out Christmas cards. Often we spend time and money on sending out cards when both could be preserved.
7. Watch what you eat. With all the social gatherings and office parties, it’s incredibly easy to overeat. As with your financial budget, have a food and drink budget. What this means is this, go into social situations fully aware of how easy it is to hang out at the snack and buffet table indulging in mindless nibbling to the tune of hundreds, even thousands, of calories. One of the worst offenders of hidden calories is alcohol.
8. Be very careful not to drink and drive. What may seem like a good idea at the time can quickly turn tragic when mixing alcohol, driving and icy roads. Nothing will ruin your holiday (and life) faster than an accident that could have been avoided.
9. Be a part of a loving and supportive community. Having people who don’t place unrealistic demands on your time and finances, is one of the best things you can do. Church groups, running clubs, community service groups and other communities of those participating in productive activities are highly recommended this time of year.
Start a Productive Tradition
This is the time of year many people start planning for the coming year. They set goals, reflect on what they did and did not accomplish in the past year, and swear off behaviors that no longer serve them.
Yet, many of the goals (resolutions) are quickly forgotten as the New Year unfolds.
One of the best ways to stick with your coming year goals is to write them down. Determine what you are truly committed to accomplishing based on what you want and need rather than expectations others have of you.
Here are some really nice journals to get for the process. Heck, these also make great, inexpensive gifts.
Bottom line…. enjoy the process
The bottom line is this; the holiday season is traditionally one of happiness and joy as well as stress and pressure.
Do what you need to do to enjoy the season, but realize it’s up to you how you spend your time, money and energy.
Look for a supportive community? Join Passion for Thriving Facebook Group.