Embracing Imperfection and Celebrating Moments
The holiday season, while filled with joy and celebration,often brings its fair share of stress and chaos. From gift shopping to family gatherings, the hustle and bustle can leave us feeling pretty frazzled, making it tough to navigate the holiday chaos and find moments of calm amidst it all.
So here I sit, writing this blog post as I think, “How in the world am I going to get everything done before Christmas?” Two days to go, we lost a week with a very sick dog, it’s 1 am, I’m in the office all day tomorrow, the family festivities begin Christmas eve, our tree is standing and lit but the ornaments are still in the attic, nothing is wrapped, and I am compelled to write?! LOL
Here is where you are either thinking, “Freddi is nuts or “ThankGod! It’s not just me!”
Well, here is why… So many of you this week were feeling stressed and telling me the holiday is “coming too fast” or “sneaking up on me” and asking me how I do so many things all the time and stay so calm? I’ve been thinking about that question all day. The simple answer is I’ve learned lots of coping skills, how to choose behaviors that cultivate peace and productivity and most importantly, how to accept that sometimes, you just can’t do it all. Sometimes things aren’t perfect and it’s OK!
In hopes of helping you get through this holiday season feeling more peace and joy, here are some of my best tips, and yes, it's not too late:
1. Gift Giving
Once upon a time, I wrapped everything withsuch precision. The seems had to be perfect, then ribbon and a bow and matching tag…While I’ll be the first to say, there is a little extra magic in receiving something looking that gorgeous on the outside, it can be expensive, bad for the environment and there is only so much a person can do. This is one of those things I decided not to sweat once I was a single mom with an aging mom, a business and so on. Maybe when I retire AHAHAHA! Never mind..
2. Quality Over Quantity:
It’s easy to get over exhausted trying to go everywhere and do everything. Emphasize the importance of meaningful connections over the quantity of activities. Cherish the quality time with family building holiday traditions.
3. Dealing with Holiday Family GatheringTensions:
Family dynamics can add an extra layer of stress to your season. Learn to set boundaries, practice effective communication, and plan activities that bring joy to everyone. It’s ok to say no and it’s ok to leave the room before something gets heated. Deep breathing can be particularly helpful and focusing on all the positive memories vs. the negative ones. Have a plan of how you will answer those pesky questions that can often be asked by well-meaning relatives, such as, “Are you ever going to get married?”, “How much money are you making now?” or “Why don’t you get a real job?” (Can't tell you how many times I heard that one! LOL)
Holiday family stress is a real thing for too many of us, but
playing out potential scenarios on how you will be communicating with relatives
ahead of time can be helpful.
4. Holiday Time Management Magic:
We are down to the wire now so managing your time effectively by creating a schedule, prioritizing tasks, and learning to say 'no' when needed is especially important. Make your list. Highlight the actual, true priorities. Do the prioritized tasks first. Then do the rest of your list and learn to be OK if it isn’t all done. IT IS OK.
5. Pause for Reflection, Self-Care, and a Dose of Sanity:
Incorporate holiday mindfulness into your routine with journaling, taking a bath, getting a massage, meditation or deep breathing exercises. Prioritizing self-care during the holidays with stress-relief techniques will recharge your energy. Above all, remember the reason for the season. It’s not about the presents or the tree.
6. Learn to Laugh More:
Like so many of you, I can get a bit melancholy this time of year, missing my mom and dad and the laughter of my daughter when she was small. When a wave of sadness rushes in or when things go wrong, and they
will, practice a dose of gratitude for what is going right, the great memories and
learn to laugh at the rest. This is just one moment in time. It will pass.
7. Nourish Yourself:
If you want to get it all done, be able to be with everyone, remember everything you need to do, take care of others and go where you want to go, you must PRIORITIZE YOURSELF. Go ahead and enjoy yourself but nourish your body with healthy foods, a greens powder, supplements etc. to stay energetic and well. Drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces) every day to flush toxins, stay regular, reduce inflammation, and prevent headaches. Get outside and move. Yes, outside in the cold FRESH air. Start gearing up mentally for a detox after the holidays.
Bottom line-as we navigate the holiday chaos, it's crucial to remember that perfection is not the goal. Embrace imperfection, celebrate the small moments, and find joy in the season's true spirit. Share your stress-relief tips with us, and let's make this holiday season a time of connection, laughter, and genuine happiness.
What's your go-to stress-relief strategyduring the holidays? Share in the comments below and spread the calm by sharing these tips with friends and family.