By Nancy Edwards
Remember when you were a kid and the holidays were pure joy? No school! Sleeping in! Lots of Christmas presents!
Then you grow up. Sure, it’s still fun to get together with family and friends, but you’re jostled by crowds while trying to get the perfect presents for everyone without breaking the bank. If you have kids, you feel too busy to enjoy a break. Maybe you’re preparing your first turkey while stressing about keeping your house impeccable.
For some, the holidays bring bad memories of family dysfunction. After grieving a not-so-hot Thanksgiving again myself, my friend, Lisa, called to inform me she had a night off from mommy duty and asked if I was free for a movie. During the comedy I laughed more than I could recall. I remembered that, while stress won’t go away on its own, making time to chill out and enjoy yourself gives you that much-needed break.
I asked friends what they do to relax during the hectic season as well. Here are the answers I got:
- Sue loves to hang around cats (she and I, both crazy cat people, volunteer with Rescue Me, a nonprofit organization that brings in rescued cats at local Petsmart and Petco stores).
- Kim likes yoga classes and watching football.
- Mark spends his annual December weekend with his BFF; they mix shopping with fun activities: movies, eating out and having “guy time” together.
- Nancy makes sure she puts aside time for breakfast or lunch with good friends.
- Karen relaxes quietly in her living room while watching her Christmas lights.
DeLynn’s comment was my favorite: “Realize that YOU are the one putting expectations on yourself to send out cards, buy presents for everyone under the sun, attend all parties, and have the perfect house. Allow yourself to say “no.” Focus on what YOU really want to do, what YOU want out of the season and what you want for your KIDS to get out of the season. Don’t let what you think you SHOULD do run you down, stress you out, etc. Get RID of the hustle and bustle and you’ll find yourself FEELING like having fun, being silly, etc.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.