“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.”~Thomas S. Monson
The Most Stressful Time of the Year…
It is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year! There is SO much to do. Whether it is decorating, buying gifts, if you are hosting, you have to shop and prepare food, and if you are a young parent, buy presents for kiddos and make sure you create ALL the magic for them. It can be exhausting, overwhelming, and yes you might feel very Grinch like. And on top of all of the holiday bustle, every day life continues.
I am well aware for many people the holidays are not holly and jolly. And honestly as much as I love the holidays, I can get stressed right along with the best of them! Work wise this is an extremely busy time for me, and this year was the added bonus of planning for some major life changes amidst the bustle, and then having some health stuff occur right before Thanksgiving on top of that.
I went from having sugar plums dancing in my head, to listing all I had to get accomplished and I did begin to feel overwhelmed. Actually I think I landed on Elf Con Ten panic! All of this is to say, that it CAN be the most wonderful time of the year as well as the most stressful. It isn’t one or the other, nor are you horrible for having one or the other of these emotions. They are normal feelings which we have to acknowledge and then find healthy ways to deal with them or else they will control us. Feelings are fleeting, they only have power over us, if we let them. They also are neutral, it is what WE attach to them, our labels, that define them. And many times they come about because we are not living in the present, but traveling ten chapters ahead, which during the holidays is pretty easy to do, since we ARE all focused on December 25th. But if you can refocus to the present moment, it can help you destress. I realize it is all easier said then done, but these are some things I try to tell myself and I hope they can help you through this season.In other wards welcome to my unofficial Ted Talk.
Give Yourself Grace
This might be the most important and one that has become something of a mantra to me lately. Give myself grace. How simplistic to say, but in actuality incredibly difficult to do as humans. We aren’t perfect. Rome was not built in a day, and sometimes those DAYS just implode, for whatever reason. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Disasters are going to happen. We are human not Gods and life is beautifully messy. But the great thing about life is we can also try again. We do get do overs whether it is the very next minute, ten minutes, an hour or tomorrow, we can always try again, and nothing every defines us.
You don’t have to do it all
Friends, I come from a family of over achievers, type A Perfectionists, and honestly control freaks. I am recovering from ALL of those traits, which admittedly I have some days that I succeed and other days I fall right back into those habits. But the fact is you are not going to win any awards. Okay, unless it is a competition, but this is NOT Deck the Halls, the holidays are suppose to be fun, FUN friends, FUN. Which means if your sugar cookies are not perfectly decorated, that is okay. If you end up buying gift cards instead of a flipping candle, they actually might love you even better, digressing, but its okay. If your package arrives late, it is okay, it keeps the holiday season going in my book. I reiterate, we are human, not Gods.
What you get done you get done
And all that said, sometimes the reason you aren’t doing it all is, because you weren’t suppose to in the first place. I had been feeling pretty accomplished, and then I got sick before Thanksgiving. And things kinda imploded. I was stressing big time about it and then I asked myself why? I did everything I could possibly do. Some things just are not in our control. (okay a lot of things are not in our control…see I am learning!) and somethings are not meant to be. And while we might think we know it all, we don’t. We don’t have that power, God or the universe, or whomever you believe in does, and we, okay I, have to believe that there is a reason I did not get the lights up this year, or that package sent on time. Instead of rushing around, trying to make everything perfect, make it enjoyable. Better yet, YOU enjoy the season as well.
I know this will probably set people off, (my own mother included) but hey I am a former yoga teacher, it is our schtick. But it also works. If you are feeling overwhelmed, just breathe. If you are upset in anyway, just breathe. Stop where you are and breathe. Or go into a bathroom and breathe. Or the corner. Wherever you are just take breaths, notice your breaths and ground yourself back to the present moment. Because the reality is, in December (and even November) how present are we all really being? Or are we doing everything we can for December 25? LIVING for a day in the future and not the present? Forgetting that it is a SEASON and not just a day. That in of itself adds so much flipping stress. SO bring yourself back, to this moment, to these words. YOU are in charge of this moment right now. THIS is what you can control. And just breathe.
It is Christmas, It is is messy and beautiful.
This one is especially true if you have children. Christmas is not a Hallmark Movie. And WHO wants a Hallmark Movie? Honestly? In theory it sounds amazing. but in practice? The candid imperfect moments are much better then having everything scripted. If the lights (always about the dang lights) are strung correctly, or there is a bulb out, who cares? We can get caught up in the finite details that we miss the true purpose and message of Christmas. It isn’t about having that Instagrammable tree, but being with the people you love, being grateful for what you have, celebrating how far you have come in the past year, and recognizing there is always light in the darkness and that this time of year it takes the shape of a Christmas tree.
Enjoy the moments
Lastly enjoy the moments. It sounds so simplistic, not to mention I am probably repeating myself, but it is so true. The imperfect moments should be savored just as much as the imperfect ones. It is a season of preparing. Whether we are preparing for Jesus, Santa, or something else, the journey is always just as important, if not more so then the arrival. And when we are present, when we can savor each and every moment, when we can live in the moment, we can appreciate the season much more easily, and be less overwhelmed. Whether you start celebrating in November or wait until December, this season, heck even life, really is so fleeting. Soak it up. All of it. Sending you all love and joy this season friends.
Do you find the season overwhelming? Do you have any tips on how to deal with holiday stress?
Day 1: Blogmas: A Nautical Christmas 2021
Day 2: Rocking Around (And Decorating) The Christmas Tree
Day 3: What do I Wear?!?! A Fancy Friday Christmas
Day 4: Department 56: North Pole village
Day 5: Wanderlusting: L.L. Bean’s Northern Lights
Day 6: My Flocked Christmas Tree
Day 7: What DO I Wear: All the Christmas Cozy Pj’s
Day 8: 2021 Ornaments