There’s No Such Thing As Perfect

If you are anything like me, this time of year presents an array of mixed emotions. I feel like my emotions range from excitement, depression, happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety, and overwhelm…sometimes all in one day! 

Let me say, I LOVE the holidays though. I think my problem is trying to make the holidays perfect like you see on the Hallmark channel. 

I want the holidays to be a time of joy – a time of reconnection, merriment, and being charitable. That’s what I want, but it’s not easy to achieve, not when I feel the pressure to create a Pinterest-worthy experience for my family and friends. That’s when the negative emotions begin to surface. Instead of feeling joyful, I get overwhelmed and then a little crazy, followed by just wanting to go to bed and wake up when it’s all over.

But, here’s the thing. I do it to myself. No one forces me to make those Pinterest-worthy charcuterie boards. No one tells me my wrapping needs to look like Martha Stewart’s. It’s my choice to feel this pressure. (My husband would die if he knew I was admitting this!) 

What I’m here to tell you now, is it also my choice (aka your choice) to put a stop to it right now. This year. This season.

If I learned anything from COVID, I learned to appreciate the little things. I’ve learned that less is often better than over the top. I’ve learned that worthy relationships are sustained over mugs of coffee, glasses of wine, or simple texts that tell the other person you’re thinking of them. Not overly decorated holiday homes with lots of perfect food and presents. I don’t want to forget these lessons. I want to carry this part of COVID throughout my life.

Here are some tips for not getting bent out of shape over all the holiday hype.

  1. Begin each day with a moment of silence. Seriously. Give yourself 60 seconds when you wake up and think about what you’re grateful for. Your kids, your warm bed, your health. You can’t believe how effective this is. I don’t care if you say it out loud, write it down, or say it to yourself, but just do it! Express your gratitude every single day. This small activity will start your day off on a high note. 
  1. When overwhelm starts seeping in, take stock. Take a second to think about what’s causing you the anxiety. What can be taken out of the equation to help you feel less stress? Do you really need to invite your entire extended family over for Christmas? (We’re still in a pandemic, you know.) Do you really need to have those bacon-wrapped dates if you can’t find all the ingredients this year? And do you have to be the one to initiate planning the office holiday party? Perhaps someone else could handle it this year. Try taking a few of the things that are causing you to feel anxious and you’ll immediately feel at ease. And I bet no one will even remember that you didn’t make the damn appetizers you said you would at the party!  
  1. Schedule time off from work. Even just a half-day off to run errands. Don’t try to compete with the weekend “runners.” Doing so will increase your frustration and anxiety. If you can’t take time off work, or the thought of it stresses you out, too, do your shopping online. I know, the thought of it sucks because you may not be able to support local, but you have to do what keeps you sane. 

Hopefully, some of this will help you be able to enjoy the holidays a little more. If you’re still feeling stressed, private message the Resilient Women Rise Facebook page. Someone will be there to listen. Give your friend a call, walk over to your neighbors, or talk to the gal at the register and tell her you just need a minute to vent. If it’s a woman, she will understand. 

You matter. Your mental health and well-being matter just as much as the people you are trying to please this season. With that in mind, take a moment to care for yourself. 

Remember there’s no such thing as perfect. That’s now what the holidays are made for. This season is a time to gather, a time to reminisce and be thankful for everything you’re blessed with.