Simplify the Holidays – Stress Less, Enjoy More

by Liz Stovall, Division Manager- Fitness and Wellness

Oh, the holiday season. A time filled with magic, giving and wonder— or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. For many, the holidays can quickly become stressful and overwhelming, becoming one of the busiest, most expensive and most draining times of the year. With a few mindful actions, there are ways to simplify the holidays and live intentionally through the holiday hustle.

  1. Prioritize your priorities
    • The first step towards simplifying the holidays is to figure out what your priorities are. Take time to understand what’s most important to you. Being intentional involves accepting that you can’t do everything. Pick what you want to focus on and let the rest go. For me, spending time with the people I love is my most important priority during the holidays. For example, I spend less time cooking on Christmas day and enjoy a simpler meal allowing more time to spend creating memories with my family.
  2. Adjust your expectations
    • Adjusting both expectations and perspective is important to simplify the holidays. A “perfect” holiday season isn’t what matters, especially if it means you’re a burnt out, cranky, exhausted mess. Your friends and family won’t remember (or care) if you had five different kinds of cookies. They will remember spending a fun night laughing, talking and enjoying your company while eating cookies.
  3. Keep your focus on gratitude
    • Remembering to focus on gratitude can go a long way to shift your perspective during the holidays. Actively look for things for which to be grateful. Take the time to notice and appreciate the simple joys during the holidays. My favorite memories aren’t the gifts received or how fancy the holiday decorations are, they are the laughter and the cozy fire in the fireplace as we sip hot chocolate on a cold and snowy evening. Keep your eyes and heart open to notice and feel grateful for the simple moments.
  4. Other practical tips
    • Start saving for the holidays throughout the year. Instead of racking up debt during the holiday season, set aside some money each month for holiday purchases, travel and hosting.
    • Plan your time, activities and to-dos well ahead of time. Make a list of everything you need and want to do for the holidays and when you need to have each task completed. Planning in advance is a great way to avoid last minute stress and chaos. With a little intention and planning you can bring joy back into the holiday season.