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Five ways to avoid becoming a holiday grinch this year

Holidays are among us and so are the pressures of a picturesque, perfect holiday. Despite the festive & warm decorations, there is much about the holidays that can cause people to feel anxious or depressed. The obligations to attend parties and family gatherings, the need to have a spotless home to impress friends and relatives, or the financial stress of buying gifts can turn anyone into a grinch. If you find yourself turning into the grinch this holiday season, here are a few tips you can try.

Say No. If trying to be everything to everyone is sucking the joy out of your holiday, then it’s time to say no to a few invitations. Setting boundaries is a healthy way of protecting your emotions or space and a courageous act of putting ourselves first. It’s a great way to break the people-pleasing habit and practice the art of self-care and verbal self-defense.

Learn to accept imperfection. Let go of trying to put together the best gathering, giving the best present or feeling the happiest during this time of the year. Accept that things can still be enjoyable, even if they are not perfect. Imperfection is normal.

Stay calm and be kind. With a shortage of workers this year, lines are going to be slow and long. When the going gets tough with never ending traffic, crowded stores and slow check out lines, it's important to remember to breathe first then show kindness and grace. Everyone is facing challenges we can't always see and it’s important for us to think about how we can better support one another and treat others with kindness — especially essential workers and those in the service industry — during the holiday season.

Stick to your budget. Give homemade gifts instead of buying everything or suggest drawing names to cut down on the amount of people to buy for this year. Keep in mind the meaning of the season and don’t get caught up in the material stuff.

Practice some good old fashioned self-care. Relaxation techniques are a great way to manage your mental health & stress. Meditation, scheduling a massage or taking a yoga class can help you relax and enjoy the holidays more. Even a few rounds of deep breathing before entering a crowded store, family gathering or holiday party can help center and calm yourself. Try to keep up with a similar sleep, diet and exercise routine, which can help you feel more organized and ready to take on the holiday season.

Happy holidays.

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