The holiday season is full of fun, festiveness, and special times. But it can also feel chaotic, overwhelming, and full of family conflict. It is no coincidence that I book many therapy sessions at 8:00 am on Dec. 26th Every. Single. Year!
We all know that this year has the potential to bring on a special set of challenges-the same issues we've faced in the past along with amplified stress, so much loss, financial strain, conflict over how to best handle gatherings, and loneliness among other things.
Despite all this, there are still so many reasons to celebrate. I'm confident there are steps we can take to set ourselves and our families up to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible. Today I'm teaming up with my lovely friend Shannon Solt and we're both sharing three ways that we're keeping things simple this holiday season. Shannon is a working mom like myself and I really value her wisdom, kindness, and authentic nature. Following along with her feels like following a friend you would have in real life. Make sure to check out her blog here and her Instagram account here!
How I'm Keeping the Holiday Season Simple:
- I'm planning what I can. There is SO MUCH in this world that is out of my control. In fact, most things are out of my control. But there are a few things that I can control-not overpacking my schedule, not taking on too much, doing my best to purchase gifts and wrap them ahead of time. I'm also setting my boundaries and sticking to them-see my post on boundaries here. I find that doing these things greatly reduces my stress level!
- I'm keeping things SIMPLE. ALL of us are running low on resources. I'm going to make the next few weeks as easy on myself as I can. I'll have groceries delivered to my house and keep meals simple. I'll find additional childcare a couple of hours a week if needed. I'll cut back on gifts if I decide that will be best. And I won't do these things because I'm no fun or uptight--I'll do them because cutting out all the extra leaves room for what matters most-enjoying my family without being stressed and frantic and celebrating the birth of our savior.
- I'm staying flexible. We've all had so many plans change this year--there's certainly no guarantee that the same won't happen with holiday plans. I understand that people are feeling stretched thin and weary. So I'm going to leave room for plans to change and things to be different than in past years in regards to gatherings, plans, and gifts. I think being gracious and understanding with each other might be the best gift of all this year.
To go along with this post, Shannon and I are giving one winner some special gifts that we hope will help you stay organized, keep things simple, and find the joy in this holiday season--a 2021 Simplified Planner, A Simplified Life by Emily Ley, and Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. These are some of my most recommended resources to clients struggling with stress and overwhelm and they've been a great encouragement to me personally. See my Instagram post here for details on how to enter!
Despite all that's happened this year, I'm incredibly hopeful that this holiday season will be a time for us to all slow down and enjoy what matters most. We will certainly miss our missed traditions and family that we can't see, but perhaps we'll be able to embrace and even find some goodness in the simplicity of things:)