I love the holidays, but I find that they can be very stressful: the pressure, socializing, consumerism, and FOMO leave me wanting to just crawl back into bed. So here are four tips that I use to keep the season full of cheer.
1. Stick with Your Routine
Sticking with my routine is one of my main goals for the holidays. If you tend to go to bed at 11pm, don’t spend all of December staying out until 2 in the morning. If you don’t normally eat very rich or sugary foods, don’t binge at the Christmas party. If you have a morning routine of reading while eating peanut butter toast and then going for a quick jog, try to stick with it. I feel completely out of control when I’m out of my routine and don’t know what to expect. Of course, I make a few exceptions here and there for impromptu outings and parties (evening skating at McCarren park? I’m not missing out on that!) but in general I try to keep the holiday months business as usual.
2. Keep Mini Traditions
There’s certainly a benefit to sticking with your routine but you don’t want to be a scrooge. Everyone has certain parts of the holiday season that bring them a lot of pleasure and without it just would not be the same. For example, during Halloween I always like to watch Hocus Pocus and go to the village Halloween parade, Thanksgiving is all about the pecan pie, and for Christmas I like to go ice skating and bake cookies. Remember to make time to treat yourself to your favorite traditions.
3. Ignore the “Should”
While I love to drool over the amazing holiday decorations and table settings on Pinterest, apartment decorations will never be my thing. The amount of stress versus how much pleasure I would get out of it just doesn’t make sense for me, so I don’t bother. Decorating, cocktail parties with strangers, and holiday shopping make me want to scream even if they are “traditional” and “expected”. However, baking, ice skating, and wrapping presents are my shit. So while I won’t have a single fairy light up in my apartment this year, I already have a delicious box of homemade gingersnap cookies in my cupboard. It might seem painfully obvious (hey, it’s only taken me twenty-something years to figure out) but do more of what you love, and less of what you don’t. It’s nobody else’s business what you do or don’t do for the holidays (except maybe your family’s).
4. Focus on the Big Picture
Whenever I find myself getting frazzled and stressed, I (attempt to) calm myself down and remind myself what the holidays are actually about. It’s not about gifts or lavish parties or who has the most holiday spirit written out in twinkly lights. It’s about family and friends, possibly spirituality, reflection, gratitude, and celebration. It’s certainly cliche, but also very true.
What are your plans for the holidays? Any tips or tricks that I missed?
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