I am all about traditions, customs, and celebrations! But I believe the best way to live your healthiest life is to live with purpose. That does not exclude the holidays!
Do you have traditions around the holidays that you just don’t look forward to? Musts and shoulds that weigh you down? Do you ever ask why?
Filling your calendar with activities and to-dos that stress you out and make you feel run down and exhausted impacts your holistic wellness and certainly challenges the peace and joy you could be experiencing.
The best way to overcome this is to know your holiday WHY.
Take some time this week to reflect. I would recommend doing this as an individual and then to have a conversation with your family members or those that you typically spend the holidays with. Here are some questions to think about and discuss:
- What is the list of holiday traditions and tasks you do each year? (Include everything! Decorating, shopping, baking, wrapping, family gatherings, pictures, etc.)
- Looking at the list, what are your favorite holiday activities? Which have given you the best memories?
- Looking at the list, what causes you stress, anxiety, or overall bad feelings?
- Now, go through the list and ask yourself one simple question: Why? (Why do I decorate? Why do I bake? Why do I host dinner?)
- Finally, use your why answers to help you prioritize and try to simplify your list. Is there something that causes you stress that you can cut all together? If not, is there a way to lighten the load? – If baking causes you stress, but your why made it worthy of keeping, how can you rethink it? For instance, if your why is “I bake because the treats bring joy to my children and I love the look on their faces when they see the cookies.” Then come up with a plan to make it less stressful. Perhaps you can bake one type of cookie instead of twelve different recipes. Perhaps you can cut down on the quantity and do one dozen instead of ten. Perhaps you can simplify ingredients or recipes. Perhaps you can scrap the whole thing and make a new tradition of selecting cookies from the local bakery. Be open minded! This is about making the best of your holiday season while also keeping your stress levels down.
After taking some time to think on the questions above, use your answers to create a holiday mission statement. Just a simple sentence will do. Use this to keep you focused on the feelings, traditions, and customs that are the most meaningful to your family.
Here’s an example of the Giosi Holiday Mission Statement: To have a cozy season filled with imperfections, beauty, good flavors, and genuine connection.
Final Note Of Encouragement
In recent history there has been more and more pressure to make the holidays huge, expensive, and extravagant. I can’t help but feel social media has played a role in adding pressure to make a “picture perfect” experience. Your holiday traditions should be as unique and special as you and your family. Don’t fall into pressures of what makes other people happy. Do what serves your family. Stick to your mission statement. Notice the Giosi Holiday Mission Statement specifies “imperfections.” That is because I, personally, can fall into the “perfect” trap. When you intentionally remove the need for perfection, you can fill your experiences and family time with so much more joy. Breathe. Take it in. Have a blessed holiday season!
More Resources To Support You In A Healthy And Happy Holiday Season: