Think of the picture of the perfect family holiday scene is it from a card or a movie? While we like to hope we can create a picture perfect holiday, sometimes the holidays tend to be the exact opposite and full of stress.
Some of us set unrealistic expectations for big events and the holidays and family time often have the biggest expectations. No matter how hard we try, the holidays will never be cookie cutter- perfect.
This year swap holiday stress for holiday spirit. Taking a little time to make plans on how to best deal with the stressors that come with the holiday season can allow you to enjoy this time of year.
Ask for help with what you need, it may be emotional, financial or other help. Everyone needs help from time to time and if it helps you stay focused on the true spirit of the holiday season that is the goal. Sharing tasks allows everyone to feel like part of the celebration and that they are contributing.
Pause and focus on the joy- sometimes a favorite recipe doesn’t turn out right, or gifts don’t arrive on time. One of the best ways to deal with stressors, whether holiday or every day, is to take a few moments to pause and relax. Breathe deeply and even Laugh. Enjoy each other and focus on the small things and find joy in the holiday season, even when it seems hard to find.
As adults we have learned to cope with at least some of the holiday stressors over the years, for young children it can be hard to handle at times.
As we look forward to the holiday season and all the potential it has, our hope is that you will embrace the holiday spirit and not let stress take away the joy of being together and celebrating. Take time to enjoy the small things and the moments that will be memories.
Twila Perkinson BS, CCLS, is an Avera Family Life Educator at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center