This post is by KS contributing writer Pam Farley from Brown Thumb Mama.
We’re supposed to be joyful…we’re supposed to be festive. But the pressures of family, gloomy weather, and too many social events can turn the holidays into horrordays.
Don’t let this happen to you. Remember to give yourself GRACE and reduce your stress this holiday. Here’s how:
G is for Gratitude.
Reading blogs around the holidays can make you feel like everyone ELSE is perfect. Perfect decorations, perfect family pictures, perfect food… If you aren’t careful, you can spiral into a vortex of doubt, envy, or worse.
Instead of looking outward during this time, look inward and fill your heart with gratitude. Take a moment to deeply experience your senses. Breathe slowly and feel the ground under your feet and the sounds around you. Write down something good that happened today–even if it was that the kid who bagged your groceries didn’t smash the bread.
Gratitude allows you to see the wonder and awesomeness of being alive.
R is for a Realistic Schedule.
When Hubby and I were newlyweds, this was our Christmas routine: Christmas Eve dinner at his family’s ranch. Midnight Mass. After-Mass gathering at a friend’s house. Christmas morning breakfast with his family. Christmas day with my family. Christmas dinner with his extended family. Go home and collapse.
Needless to say, we’ve cut this schedule back now that we have kids. Can you imagine keeping a 6-year-old and an infant occupied during all those events?
It’s not easy to say “No,” especially to family–but our sanity is more important than dragging ourselves to 6+ events in a 24 hour period. It’s more fun to celebrate the weekend before and spend the entire day together, anyway.
A is for Ask for Help.
Do you beat yourself up to fulfill “family expectations” (see above) or overextend yourself to make memories for the kids? Do you think if one event falls through, or if the gifts aren’t wrapped perfectly, or your cookies burn, the entire holiday is ruined?
You are bullying yourself. Harsh words, I know–but many of us lose our minds at the holidays and end up yelling at Hubby, the kids, and mentally tearing ourselves down. Don’t do it!
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