Oh, lord….the holiday season is here! That means exciting plans are being made, good intentions are everywhere, and expectations abound for the most magical holiday EVER. Enter: Stress. Stress can easily take over your body, mind & spirit due to the flurry of plans you make. So, what can you do to stop yourself from falling head first into the relentless stress of the holidays?
Well, you can do a some “holiday” prepping.
If you want to be a little more zen this holiday season, then you need to start filling your toolbox with a few essentials necessary for creating a stress-free magical holiday.
STEP #1: Get Low (get low)
We set ourselves up for STRESS when our expectations for the holidays are unnecessarily high. This includes the expectations you have for yourself, your kids, husband, friends, AND (most importantly) your extended family.
Your new HOLIDAY MANTRA needs to come from Lil Jon’s Get Low. Yes, let it get in your brain. “To the window, to the wall,” Yep, that’s the one….”get low, get low, get low.”
Now that this non-traditional holiday song is stuck in your brain for eternity, you can use it to your advantage.
When you start making plans, jotting lists, getting harried in the parking lot at the mall—GET LOW. We all know that we need to have “realistic” expectations around the holidays, especially when kids are involved. But, you need to take this a step further. You need to (you guessed it!) GET LOW! Set those expectations LOW.….then, perhaps LOWER them again!
STEP #2: Just DON’T Do It
When it comes down to it, I think I’ve had the most joy come into my life when I say NO to things that stress me out. I don’t care if it’s saying no to family events at the holidays, choosing not to talk to a relative that’s an asshole, or deciding not to buy TONS of presents for my kids.
Whatever it is, if it stresses me out BEFORE I even do it, then I give myself permission to NOT do it.
There is absolutely no reason in the world for you to continue to put yourself through stress. It is okay to create healthy boundaries and limits to what you’ll do for others (including your own parents, children, and spouse).
Just imagine it–a holiday wherein EVERYTHING that’s planned (or spontaneous) is something you actually want to do. Nice, right?
STEP #3: Fuck Tradition
Traditions don’t exist in a vacuum. As families grow, change, move away, come together, stop drinking, go on diets, whatever—the traditions may not fit the needs of the collective family any longer. At some point, it has to be okay to pull a Marie Kondo on it and say, “Thank you tradition for the memories, but I’ve got to let you go now.”
Then, replace it with something you would love to experience–even if it’s just being at home with your little family watching The Grinch for the millionth time.
I mean, when you think about it—starting a new tradition is probably the oldest tradition there is! Every tradition had to start somewhere by some bold family member, amiright?
Why not you? Why not this year?
STEP #4: Slow Your Roll
I CANNOT stress it enough—the BEST thing you can do in ANY stressful situation this holiday is just STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT. It works under any circumstance, any time, with any one.
Grocery store getting STUPID crazy? STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT
Forgot to move the elf (again)? STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT
Bank account getting a little lower than you can handle? STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT
Flight delayed? STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT
And, my personal favorite: Kids got lice & pink eye on Thanksgiving (and gave it to you)? STOP, BREATHE, REPEAT (YES—this actually works in this situation. I know. Trust me.)
It works. Slow down. Breathe. You’ll make it through.
Step into Zen & Out of Crazy
Holidays are a ball of crazy. They are beautiful, sweet, fun, a little sad, sometimes insane, and always filled with chaos. That’s why it’s important to prep yourself before you step into the holiday season.
Don’t let holiday stress win this year! Start today by getting your GAME FACE on. Remember to GET LOW, Just DON’T do it, fuck tradition, and BREATHE.
If you can keep these tools handy during the holidays, then you just might have a fighting chance this year! God speed. See you on the other side!