Kids get sick, someone won’t like their gift, and a new holiday recipe may not turn out that is just the way it goes. Expecting that challenges will happen can help prevent undue levels of frustration and disruption. If we go into the holiday season expecting things to be perfect and run smoothly, we are bound for disappointment. Read on to learn more about how to reduce the holiday season.
Remember what really matters, before starting the holiday season, take some time to pause and reflect on what really matters to you and your family.
- Is it spending time with loved ones?
- Is it passing down family traditions to your children?
- Is it volunteering and helping others?
Connect with Family and Friends
- Having strong bonds with other people (social connections) is good for mental health! And the holidays can be a great time to see and spend with loved ones.
- Voice sadness about not being about to see some family or friends during the holidays, and talk about it.
- Use technology
- Mailing cards or notes
Try to think of family, friends, and neighbors who might have less local social support and offer to include them in festivities or drop something off at their door. It is an act of kindness that won’t be forgotten and helps children learn a valuable lesson about empathy and kindness. Share a portion of a meal, do an art project to give them, or invite them to your holiday gathering.
Set Healthy Boundaries
- It’s okay to say no to some things in order to do more of the things that matter to you and your family.
A few ideas to get you started:
- Communicate clearly and thoughtfully – be honest and respectful
- Avoid guessing at someone else’s feelings
- Stick to the boundaries that you’ve set
Take Time for Self-Care
With all the busy plans many of us have around the holidays, it’s easy to let our normal routines go. Ensure you stick to your self-care routine for you and your family to stay well. If you don’t already make time for self-care, there’s no better time to start. Here are some activities to help guide you:
- Get some exercise, and include your family to help create good habits for everyone.
- Spending time outdoors, even in cold weather, is good for mental health.
- Take time for mindfulness activities as well.
By prioritizing what really matters, connecting with loved ones, setting healthy boundaries and taking care of ourselves, we can reduce stress and find more to enjoy this holiday season.