Without even meaning to, the holiday season turns us into crazy people. We get angry in traffic, go about our business in a rush, and we feel the stress from head to toe. It’s not the holidays’ fault—Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are designed to celebrate family, friendship, culture, love, and sacred things. But in all of our holiday preparations, we’ve gone and turned ourselves into frantic Energizer Bunnies. So much to do, so much to buy.
Here are three ways you can stay sane this holiday season and not act like a crazy person!
3 Ways To Stay Sane This Holiday Season and Not Act Like a Crazy, Stressed Person
1. Scale back.
99% of the stress from the holiday season comes from the high expectations we place on ourselves. There are stacks of perfect holiday cards to send and the stress of choosing the perfect gift for literally everyone we know, from our dentist to our postman. As our list of things to buy and make grows to overwhelming proportions, our joy for the holidays nose dives.
Stop. Just stop trying so hard. Ironically, the holidays are about family and the more we stress about creating the “perfect” holiday, the less time we spend with our family. In order to not act like a crazy person this holiday season, scale back. This doesn’t mean do nothing to prepare for the holidays, but it does mean to lower your self-expectations.
Send 25 cards to your closest friends and family instead of 100 to loose acquaintances. Cut down on the number of gifts you get your kids. I find that after so many gifts, they just get tossed to the side as an afterthought. It’s okay if the whole neighborhood doesn’t get a plate of freshly baked goodies from you, but instead gets a big smile and a wave whenever you cross paths. And sometimes, what’s even better than a gift is a hand-written note telling why you love and appreciate someone.
As you approach this holiday season, let go of some of those high expectations and simply enjoy the simple holiday moments.
2. Stop and hug someone.
Whether it’s your child, spouse, mom, grandma, or a friend—stopping to hug someone is a physical expression of love and appreciation. It’s also a chance to re-focus your priorities. Too much focus of the holidays has shifted to things instead of people, when in reality, the holidays are about loving people.
Last year my son got the book Llama, Llama Holiday Drama as a gift from his teacher. As I read it to him, tears were coursing down my face. The book is about a little llama who gets caught up in all his Mama’s holiday bustling. By the end of the book, he breaks down because his mama is so busy preparing for Christmas that she’s lost her focus on what’s truly important—family.
Photo by Cristi Dame
Stay sane this holiday season by keeping your priorities straight. Like Llama’s mama says, “Gifts are nice, but there’s another: The true gift is we have each other.”
Photo by Cristi Dame
3. Deep breathes and finger tapping.
When you start to feel that holiday stress creeping up to your shoulders and resting in that space right between your eyebrows, it’s time for some deep breathing and finger tapping.
Finger tapping therapy is when you use the tips of your fingers to tap certain stress points on your body. Some people tap the underside of the wrist or palms of the hand. I like to use these EFT Tapping points. At night when I have a hard time getting to sleep, or whenever I feel stressed out, I tap my eyebrows, sides of each eye, and chin three times each. As crazy as it sounds, it works!
Don’t let stress overshadow this beautiful holiday season. Try these strategies and hopefully come away a sane and happy person.