I hate to admit this, but I haven’t exactly been bursting with holiday cheer lately. I’m not sure whether it’s because I still have my fall wreath on my door and haven’t put out any of my Christmas decorations that I keep forgetting about or what the deal is, but I just can’t seem to get into the holiday spirit.
In reality, I think the issue is that the holidays can be stressful when you’re an adult. You’re spending money you don’t really have to buy gifts for loved ones. You’re worrying about finishing up work projects before the year ends. You’re traveling and dealing with crowded airports. New Year’s Eve looms and it comes with a lot of pressure, particularly if you don’t have plans yet. If you’ve got family drama that lies dormant normally, it’s probably out in full force during the holidays. All of these things combined can create a perfect storm of “bah, humbug.”
I was feeling overwhelmed yesterday, stretched thin by last-minute holiday prep and work and such. Then I wrote this mantra down on a piece of paper and taped it to my desk, “You are only one person and you’re doing your best and that’s enough.”
Surprisingly, it actually made me feel a lot better.
I may not be able to accomplish every work task in one day, as much as I’d like to.
I may not be able to cheat code my way to a fuller bank account, as much as I’d definitely like to do that.
I can’t change family dynamics or travel schedules or make more hours in the day.
But I can accept that I’m doing my best and that’s all anyone can ask of me.
The other thing is this: it’s okay to feel stressed out or tired. You may feel like you’re supposed to be radiating an aura of peppermint lattes and Mariah Carey Christmas songs, but that’s not the case. There’s really no normal when it comes to approaching the holidays, so whatever you feel is appropriate. And if you really are feeling slightly crazed, I’ve found it’s helpful to go easy on yourself. You don’t have to be at every. single. holiday party you get invited to. You don’t need to bake 300 Christmas cookies from scratch for your office holiday party. The kind you get from Pillsbury will be fine. You don’t have to feed into your Aunt Margie’s ranty text messages about how stressed she is to be hosting everyone for Christmas Eve dinner. Cut yourself some slack and do what you have to do to feel calm and healthy.
Taking a minute to remember this helped me to not feel so frazzled. If you’re feeling a lot of pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas or the “perfect” New Year’s Eve or the “perfect” end to 2015, it’s a mantra worth remembering. You’re doing your best, and that’s enough.