The cooking, parties, decorations and gift-giving throughout the holidays can seem like more work than enjoyment sometimes. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your holidays.
Start the new year now
We often ignore ourselves all year, and promise we'll be kinder to ourselves the next year. Self-love and self-care require commitment. New Year's resolutions – eating healthfully, exercising, improving relationships – don't need to wait until 2017. Get a jump start now, and you'll be amazed where you are come January 1st.
Just say no.
Every weekend during the holiday season can be filled with events and social gatherings. Don't forget - they are not mandatory. Some parties may require your attendance, but you can be really be discerning with your time and attend only the events that fulfill you and make you truly happy. Think about all the extra time you'll have if you simply and graciously decline invitations. Instead of idling away that time at gatherings that do not enrich your life, you'll be able to use it for activities that do make your life better.
Give the gift of experiences
One way to minimize the stress of shopping for family members is to forgo traditional gift giving in favor of sharing special moments and experiences. Research shows that experiences actually bring people more happiness than material goods; they can bring us together, lead to great stories and build memories. A close friend or family member may feel more special and appreciated when treated to a concert, cooking lessons, a special meal, or wine tasting, for example. Instead of having a package to rip open, you can share a special day!
Studies show that practicing gratitude improves health, perspective and relationships. Practicing gratitude reminds us that we are part of a beautiful whole, supported and loved. When you begin to feel stressed, alone or anxious, consider the things you are thankful for.