How to De-Stress and Be Merry This Christmas by MEDI-SHARE for Charisma News
Trees, lights and sales are up. It’s Christmastime. With it, comes all the stress of planning, baking, shopping and traveling. But isn’t the holiday supposed to be joyful? Medi-Share contributor Laura Bollinger, RDN, shared her tips for being genuinely merry in the midst of chaos this season.
It’s December, so the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. There’s lots of excitement, and the flurry will continue until we ring in the New Year. There’s plenty of shopping, joy and laughter, but under it all, there are likely some feelings of stress.
For a variety of reasons, the holidays can bring on the most stress or anxiety we have ever felt. Stress creeps in in a variety of ways, including socially, emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically. Even though no one is guaranteed a stress-free life, there are steps we can take to reduce stress, especially around the holidays.
There are so many things to accomplish during the holidays such as decorating, shopping, cooking, dressing up or finding the perfect ugly sweater. Social media, magazines and TV tell us just how “easily” we can accomplish these things if we simply follow their plan to perfection. Unfortunately, this marketing can lead to unrealistic expectations in our own lives.
Reality check: No one is perfect! Most of us do not find the perfect gift for everyone on our list or flawlessly prepare an entire dinner party menu.
Instead of expecting the impossible next time plans are made, set realistic expectations for the things that are most important to you and your family at Christmas. Find joy in making these priorities special. For example, if mashed potatoes are the one menu item you’re looking forward to the most, focus on making that recipe the best it can be. Then ask others to bring additional menu items to reduce your cooking burden.
When it comes to gifts, put thought into choosing items that your friends and family will know you took time to intentionally choose for them. Then get a gift receipt, just in case.