Did you know there’s something called The Christmas Effect? A decline in our overall well being can actually take place during the holiday season, despite moments of elevated moods. One very basic but important tip to get through the havoc the holiday season brings is to keep things simple.
Other strategies and things to remember:
1. Cut back on your “shoulds”. Thinking “I should do this” or “I should do that” can leave you feeling overwhelmed. When this happens, we’re more likely to experience negative emotions. And no one wants to feel bitter during the holidays.
2. Kids are still going to be kids. It doesn’t matter that it’s the holiday season. Don’t set yourself up by having different expectations of children during the holidays. Their behavior may even decline this time of year.
3. Remember what’s important. What are the things that matter to you most? Whatever your answer is, embrace that.
4. Say “No” more. Don’t give in to the added pressure. Set a limit of how many social gatherings you will attend. How many White Elephant or Ugly Sweater parties can one person commit to anyway?
5. Take a break once in a while. A day alone with your significant other. A pajama day at home, or a football game and drinks with friends. Sometimes even running simple errands alone is enough to feel rejuvenated.
6. Brush it off. The holiday season can prove to be incredibly stressful for some individuals and families. Not having enough resources during the holiday season paired with the additional chaos of all the hustle and bustle can pave the way for out of character comments and/or behavior.
7. Scrap gifts altogether. Get your family or friends together to go volunteer and help those in need.
Whatever you do and however you spend it, remember to keep this holiday season simple and breathe!