For most, when we hear Andy Williams belt into song telling us It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, we respond with mixed emotions. Starting in October, we are barraged with advertising and physical reminders in stores that we must create a lavish holiday season with gifts and parties and family. Each moment must be magical and better than anything previously created. However, reality sets in and stress begins.
Holidays are meant as a time to slow down, relax and spend quality time with our families. Invariably we end up losing our minds trying to accomplish everything. As Beverly D’Angelo stated in Christmas Vacation, “It’s the holidays, we’re all miserable.” We don’t have to be. We need to re-evaluate and remember what the season is all about.
Here are some tips to make this holiday season a bit less stressful.
- Learn to say “NO”. Don’t over indulge in what you see as “obligations”. Instead focus on what is important to you and let the rest go by the way side.
- Forget Holiday Traditions that don’t fit your life style. Keep only those that are important to you and your family. No one will miss Aunt Betty’s knitted socks.
- Forget differences. We all experience a bit of anxiety having to spend time with extended family. Remember we can’t change the past, only the future. Focus on how you can make this a wonderful day. And delegate a task to Uncle Chet who can be critical.
- Attend only those parties important to you. Don’t over commit to parties just because you received an invitation.
- Remember the holidays are not about the gifts and commercialism, rather they are about relaxing and enjoying time with family. Don’t over buy. Set a budget and stick to it. You won’t have to worry about bills into 2013.
- Make only one or two dishes from scratch for the meal. The rest can either be store bought or have guests bring a dish and explore new tastes. There is no need to slave in the kitchen for 24 hours to enjoy a meal that will be gone in 30 minutes.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. The kids are old enough now to help clean the house or peel the potatoes or decorate the tree. Don’t take on all the responsibility or you will end up exhausted.
- Stick to a healthy diet. It’s easy to “graze” during the holidays. If you drink lots of water and eat a light, healthy snack – a cup of soup, a salad or some raw vegetables – before you go to a party, you won’t end up hovering over the buffet and eating too much. You can indulge, but remember when you are full just walk away.
- Finally, take 30 minutes a day just for you. Spend time reading a book, sitting in a hot bath, getting a massage, attending a gym work out, walk around the neighborhood and look at lights, whatever you find relaxing. This little “time-out” just for you helps to refocus on what is important and provides you a sense of calm and peace.
These tips will lead to a happier holiday season. Experts say happy people are 35% less likely to get sick and are likely to live 7 years longer than most. Here’s to extending your happy, healthy life. Try a few of these tips to bring back Christmas and quit celebrating Stessmas. Enjoy your Holidays with your families and loved ones. We look forward to a prosperous 2013 with each of you who contribute to our success.
~Robin Weber, PHR
Human Resources Manager at DPP