News stations all over the globe share headlines like “Study Shows That 88% of People Are Stressed During the Holiday Season” or “People Love Holidays, But Spend Them Doing Things They Hate.” And the list goes on.
It’s no secret that this time of year can be overwhelming for many, as juggling decorations, event preparations, and travel arrangements can cloud the true meaning of the season: showing appreciation for the people you love. No matter what you celebrate, the next month or so should be about having the opportunity to share special moments with special people.
With that being said, here are 5 tips I find to be beneficial in really enjoying the holiday season and time off:
#1: Make Time For Yourself
It’s great that we value others’ happiness and never want to disappoint. Sometimes, this can be detrimental to our own happiness. Health.com provides the fact that going “overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event” is a common issue, and Scripps Memorial Hospital psychologist George Pratt, PhD prescribes saying “no” to certain things going on to give yourself some freedom. As someone with extreme FOMO (fear of missing out), choosing to pass on what goes on can be difficult some days, but in the long run, it truly makes a difference.
#2: It’s Okay To Not Be Perfect
Every year, we set unattainable standards and goals to meet during the holiday season. It’s OK if you are a couple minutes late, or don’t find the exact gift you wanted, or if the house is a little bit messier than you had planned. Striving for perfection is what stresses some people out the most. In the grand scheme of things, these changes don’t matter at all. Take the time to enjoy the people around you rather than spending extra time debating where the poinsettias should go.
#3: Phone Off, Smile On
Yes, you knew it was coming – the classic “turn off your phone” spiel. I know it sounds like the least fun thing to do, but when people express nostalgia over the winter seasons, they don’t talk about how many likes their post got. At the end of the day, it’s the banter, the experiences, and the traditions that we value the most. Truthfully, we miss a lot of the holiday season focusing on our gadgets. Banners and buzzes spike adrenaline and leave users less into what goes on and more into their online world. Remember, that this time of year can be the most special out of all 365 days. Soak everything in, and the best way to do that is just keeping your phone in your pocket.
#4: Work To Work A Little Less
As Americans, we are notorious for being work-a-holics. With some extra free time, it’s difficult for some people to separate their normal obligations from quality time at home. According to Health.com, “Taking at least four or five days off work dramatically lowers your stress level.” Keep this in mind when you are choosing between taking that extra shift or having a family movie-marathon. Give yourself the break that you haven’t received in a while, so when you do go back to your normal routine, you are refreshed and better than ever.
#5 Express Appreciation Whenever You Can
Going the extra mile to say thank you or to give a compliment goes a long way. We don’t realize how much the smallest amount of gratitude can have such a positive impact on a person, especially when they have worked so hard for something. Preparing a perfect holiday takes a lot of work. Show your loved ones how much their efforts throughout more than just this time of year really transform your day. Compliment random people when you notice something special. Overall, become more vigilant in how people go about their days – you will notice that often times, credit is not given enough where its due.
Again, these are just some tactics that work for me. No matter how you celebrate your holiday season, I hope you have a great one! And above all, and enjoy the last bit of 2018 with the people that matter the most. See you all in January for Round 2!