It’s likely you’ve noticed the holiday decorations have started going up around town. One of my absolute favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I so look forward to spending time in the kitchen, prepping the family feast using loads of butter, bacon drippings, brown sugar, and anything else that is sinful and mouthwatering!

Holiday stressors

I also know holidays can be a very stressful time of year. Things get hectic with those packed end-of-year schedules, the parties, the shopping, the cooking, and the added financial obligations. When stress is high, it’s easy to feel fatigued and your patience typically runs low.

The holiday stresses also compound the stresses of everyday life, so it’s no wonder many people find themselves feeling blue around this time. This leads to tension in relationships and during family get-togethers. Things get said and daggers get thrown, making what is supposed to a fun, relaxing time anything but!

Putting the happy back into the holidays

Holidays don’t need to be filled with stress or sadness. Here are four keys ways to avoid this outcome:

  1. Don’t take it personally

    If someone snaps at you at a family function or throws shade, instead of getting angry and judgmental, get curious. That person may be going through a really rough time that you’re completely unaware of. Typically, their comments have nothing to do with you but with their own story.

  2. Practice self-care

    Make a commitment to yourself to practice self-care this holiday season before you get fatigued. Even if it’s just 20 minutes a day to do nothing. Get off social media, hang up your phone a few minutes earlier, or simply shut the door. Then sit quietly and breathe.

  3. Realize that saying ‘no’ is a complete sentence

    If you can’t make every party, that is ok. Spreading yourself too thinly doesn’t do anyone any favors, least of all you! The people who truly love you will respect your ‘no’ and understand. They’ll even step up to help if you’re feeling overwhelmed; just don’t be afraid to ask. It ain’t NO SIGN OF WEAKNESS! People actually love to help – give them the gift of that pleasure.

  4. Be gentle with yourself

    While we all love home cooking, sometimes putting your sanity first is what matters most. If you’re feeling stressed out, buy cookies for the pot luck party. Store bought cookies don’t make you any less of an amazing person! There are so many services available to help alleviate your stress so please use them!

This year, instead of showing up frustrated - and letting others frustrate you – make a commitment to rock up with an attitude of love. Most importantly, take care of you so you can enjoy this beautiful time of year.