What is in this article?:
- Seven tips for staying sane during the holidays
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Sure it’s a busy time — here’s how to cope.
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4. Plan ahead. Everyone talks about how the holidays “catch them by surprise” every year. In order to keep from being overwhelmed and overbooked in the coming weeks, Tomazin says that you need to look at your calendar right now. Start scheduling social engagements as soon as you become aware of them, and give yourself plenty of time to fulfill your own responsibilities so that you aren’t frantically gluing tinsel onto your daughter’s pageant costume at 2 a.m. the day before her big stage debut. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy seasonal events instead of just getting through them.
5. Let yourself off the hook, and be okay with that. Unless you’re Martha Stewart, you’ll never have a picture-perfect holiday season. (Truthfully, most of us can identify more with Clark Griswold’s mishaps in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as the beloved character tries to create a “good old-fashioned family Christmas.”) To save your sanity, realize ahead of time that you might forget to buy a gift for Great-Aunt Maude, that the dog might break a few low-hanging Christmas ornaments, and that you might not be able to make all eight dozen cookie recipes you’ve collected. That’s normal, Tomazin assures, so don’t beat yourself up. Keep your focus on what’s really important and you’ll be less tense and harried—as well as more resilient.
6. Say no. Many of us have trouble saying no for a variety of reasons: We don’t want to let others down, we don’t want to be seen as weak, we’re afraid to refuse, etc. However, Tomazin points out that until you learn to say no when you need to, you’ll never be in the driver’s seat of your own life. She’s adamant that you don’t have to do it all—nor should you. You don’t have to chair every event, host every party and buy every gift on your kids’ lists. Again, Tomazin reminds, decide ahead of time what’s most important to you and prioritize those things. Then you can feel okay about saying no to some of the rest.
7. Give yourself a gift (or two). Chances are, you’ve already started shopping for some of the items on your gift list. As you’re choosing the perfect presents for your spouse, kids, friends and more, Tomazin reminds you not to forget yourself! Whether it’s an afternoon pedicure or a plush new robe to wear around the house during the chilly months, remember that it’s both okay and healthy to invest in yourself. This might even be the perfect opportunity to buy that fabulous dress you’ve been eyeing—after all, you can wear it to your and your spouse’s company parties or cocktail hours. Spending a few dollars or minutes on yourself might seem like a relatively small thing, but Tomazin promises that it can make a huge difference.
“Ultimately, you don’t have to completely overhaul the way you approach the holidays to savor the upcoming season instead of feeling stressed by it,” Tomazin concludes. “By putting some prior thought into what you find most meaningful and important, and by acknowledging the importance of your own health and sanity, you’ll find that this is once again ‘the most wonderful time of the year’!”