Strategies to Make Your Holiday a Time of Joy by Dr. Louise B. Lubin
The holiday season is filled with expectations that we place on ourselves including our belief that we must meet the needs of everyone else. The source of much of this stress is that we try to do too much. Here are some strategies that can help make your holiday a time of renewal and joy, instead of obligation and stress.
DECK SOME HALLS
Keep it simple. That holiday meal or gift doesn’t have to be elaborate to be wonderful. Try to remember some simple pleasure from your own childhood. Less can be MORE.
“TIS THE SEASON TO BE ……..YOU”
Set your priorities and don’t overbook yourself. You can say NO to that invitation that you really don’t want to attend.
Choose quality over quantity. Decide what you and your family would most like to do and focus on that. If you don’t respect your limits, who will?
Plan ahead. Try your best to do what you can in advance. Last minute shopping and preparations cause a great deal of stress. Consider setting a cut- off date; after that date, let it go until next year. Don’t aim for perfection “You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love”.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
Stay in your budget. Learn to say no to spending more than you can afford. Choose simple, thoughtful or useful gifts. You will not be able to truly enjoy the holidays if you are worrying about how you are going to pay the bills come January 1st.
PEACE ON EARTH
Riding the emotional roller coaster- The holidays bring up lots of old memories and fantasies about the perfect holiday we either wished we had or believe we had as a child. It usually is not the “White Christmas” movie set we all might hope. Being with family can be wonderful or pretty difficult.
Define your limits- Be willing to let go of those old traditions if they no longer work for you or your family. Try creating new rituals that are best for you and those that matter to you. Remember, holiday dinners are never the time to settle that issue with your relative. Wait until another time to bring it up if you know it will cause stress for you and others.
GOD REST YE MERRY …
Take care of yourself. Give yourself time for rest and renewal each day. Avoid too much of anything- too much food, alcohol, caffeine. Try to focus on what you want to celebrate and stay true to that spirit. What really brings you PEACE and JOY at this time of year?
GOOD WILL TO ALL & DON’T FORGET TO SHINE YOUR LIGHT
Louise B. Lubin, PhD
Independent Practice of Psychotherapy for Adults and Couples
Community Faculty Eastern Virginia Medical School
Program Director, Many Paths to Healing
National Register Credentialed since 1982