While the holidays are a time of joy, excitement, and time with family and friends, for many, this time of year may bring on stress as well. The hectic pace of managing everyday life while working in shopping, decorating, and attending parties and events can become overwhelming. Many people also feel the financial strain of increased spending during this time and even strain on the waistline from indulging in holiday treats! For those in the “sandwich generation” (raising children while caring for aging parents) this time of year can become an even great juggling act with managing the kids being out of school, all of the demands of the holidays, and caring for an aging parent. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be difficult for those who have lost a loved one, as this is a common time when grief can resurface when a cherished loved one is no longer a part of the holiday celebrations.
We all want to enjoy HAPPY holidays, so here are a few tips to remember in hopes that you can enjoy the season of cheer!
- Say “no” when you need to. Prioritize the list of activities you will participate in. If the number of events on your calendar make you feel panicked versus excited, you may want to reconsider some commitments and stick to those that you can truly enjoy.
- Evaluate what the holidays mean to you. It is easy to get caught up in the “hustle and bustle” and social expectations of what the holidays “should” be. Think about the deeper meaning of the holidays for you, what that looks like for you, and try to plan you activities around those values. Sometimes simplifying can be very enjoyable and much less stressful.
- Seek support. If you are juggling too much, ask for help! Get a babysitter for the kids, arrange for homecare for mom or dad, ask your family for help with preparations. If you feel overwhelmed, it is a good sign you need some support.
- If you are grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season, join a grief support group. It can help to identify with others who are experiencing the same challenges that you are. Don’t try to power through it alone. If you don’t go to a support group, talk to a trusted friend, family member or clergy.
- Slow down. Sometimes we get so caught up in the pace of the season, that we miss the joy. Take time to enjoy your special time with family and friends, recognize the good in your life, and make special holiday memories.