The Christmas holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the hope that this one will be truly magical. However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and get that holiday magic back again.
1. Give yourself a break. Perfection-even perfect happiness-just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money-and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.
2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, it’s easy to get swept along by others’ desires. Even if you do compromise later, get yourself clear first.
3. Shorten your to-do list. What do the holidays really mean to you? For many, it’s about family and friends and spirituality. If an action or to-do item doesn’t add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off.
4. Say no when you want to. It’s very liberating- I promise! Try it and see- it sounds simple, but too often obligation trumps desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would make you happier.
5. Limit obligatory activities. If you can’t avoid certain events, limit the time you’re there.
6. Take good care of yourself. The old standards help keep stress at bay: eat healthfully, exercise, drink lots of water, and breathe deeply. Schedule time for relaxation and fun.
7. Start early. To avoid a last-minute frenzy that can bust your budget, start shopping or making presents now.
8. Ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you’ll be.
9. Establish new traditions. If you have experienced a major life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, consider doing something you’ve never done before over the holidays, such as travel to another country or take a cruise.
10. Get support. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do.Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Reach out for the support you need.