How to Keep the Joy in the Holidays

The holidays can be fun, exciting, and relaxing. But it seems like more often than that they just end up being really stressful for everyone involved. Between being with your entire family, trying to get food and presents ready, and getting into the festive spirit, it can be hard to stay grounded and take the time to enjoy everything. Here are a few things you can do to keep the joy in your holidays!


1. Take time for yourself

If you’re a bit of an introvert, or just find being around all your family members really stressful, it’s important to step back and take time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to step away and do something on your own, like take a nap or go shopping. Don’t feel like you have to give all your time to the people around you, because while it is nice to be with your family, they might not appreciate it as much if you can’t be your best self. Go get your nails done, or have a little at home spa night. Show yourself a bit of love so you can be more cheerful around the people who love you!


2. Don’t be afraid to say no

It makes sense that you’ll be wanting to spend as much time with everyone as possible, and to take advantage of some good time off school or work. But if you’re feeling a little tired or stressed, it’s okay to skip that Christmas light tour or shopping trip. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get a little more out there this holiday season, don’t be afraid to say yes. Even if something doesn’t sound that appealing at the time, it might end up being a lot of fun. Sometimes that’s a chance you have to take, but you might appreciate pushing yourself afterwards.


3. Take advantage of quiet time

If you want to spend time with your family but don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas, think of some fun things you can do together without leaving the house. Try baking a fun recipe, or just watching a Christmas movie together. This is a great opportunity to relax and breathe, while still surrounding yourself with your loved ones.


4. Think ahead

It’s easier said than done, but if you can prepare yourself enough to have all of your holiday shopping done before you actually start your vacation, you’ll have a lot more time to relax. The two days before Christmas are some of the busiest shopping days of the year, and of course there’s boxing day, so skip the crowds by getting everything done early (and try online shopping!).


5. Eat

With all the great food that’s probably filling up your house, don’t be afraid to indulge a little. You have plenty of time to get back into shape after the New Year, so try and not stress right now. Worrying about your diet will just add another stressor to an already stressful situation. Of course we’re not telling you to binge on everything, but give yourself permission to enjoy what’s available. And if you don’t want to, you can always donate food to families that need it!


6. Avoid stressors

If you know that something is going to make you anxious, don't do it. If there's a particular family member who gives you a hard time, make plans with another one so you can spend more time away from them. If you know you don't like going to the mall, get your shopping done early or have someone pick up what you need. Your family and friends will hopefully be understanding, and more than happy to help you when you need it. It's okay to be a little selfish sometimes, especially if it's only going to help your mental health.


We hope your holidays are as relaxing as they can be! Good luck, and happy holidays!