This time of year is amazing. This time of year also sucks for many. There are so many emotions and #expectations in December that destroy people. We get triggered by all the things: activities, people, behaviours, family gatherings, added stress, financial strain, too much food and drink… Like I said, all the things. So how do you make it through this period without losing your cool and getting even more stressed out?
Say no. It's that simple. You don’t actually have to do all the things and see all the people. You don’t have to go to all the parties or even buy all the gifts. Just say no.
Cut all of the extras from your schedule. Do you really need to have that extra meeting this week? Is now the time to get your car detailed or to plan out next year's summer vacation? Can it wait until January?
Pick your top two or three things you love about this time of year and do them—and only those ones. If you have a family, ask them all to choose their one favourite thing. Is it decorating the tree? Driving around to look at lights? Playing games? Plan all your activities around those. My personal favourite things are making (and eating) my famous layered chip dip, doing anything and everything related to Christmas lights and the Christmas Eve service.
Eat before you go out. We have all been the ravenous person at a party who just doesn’t want to leave the buffet table. Don’t do it. Don’t be that person. By eating out, you are in control and are not going to eat all the garbage when you arrive—especially if you have intolerances. You really don’t want to eat that gluten when you shouldn’t... trust me.
Minimize, minimize, minimize. Break the rules. I'll admit, I may have decorated my tree last year with only lights. That’s all. We also didn’t have a turkey dinner! We had salad. This year, we will be doing a minimal year as it was our favourite ever. And when life goes a little more back to normal, we'll still adopt a minimalistic approach to this time of year. We love it and refuse to go back.
Say #no. Seriously! No. I can't stress it enough (and this is why it is getting two mentions).
Make sure you are not booked every single night of the week. Take at least every other night off. Plan your activities in January—we all need the fun then.
Be honest about who you are with and how much of them you can handle. If you're visiting hard-to-deal-with family members that make you want to scream, set an alarm and leave after a few hours instead of a full day.
Be aware of how much you are drinking. While it is all fun and games, it is also all crazy and uninhibited. You might not want to actually tell your boss and your friend's husband what you think of them.
Focus on what is really important this time of year. For me, it is rest. It is relaxation. It is also having the time to reconnect with my husband and reflect on our last year.
These ten #guidelines will make your life so much easier this time of year. So, take it easy. Say no. Limit your activities. Spend time with those you really want to spend time with. Seriously, do it. You will love it.