massago happy holidays

How to Keep the ‘Happy’ in Your Holidays

It’s a magical time of year. Fresh snowfalls, twinkling lights, the irresistible aroma of cookies baking, and spending time with our loved ones. The festive season is upon us and amidst all the heartwarming details and traditions that make the holidays so wonderful, looms the stress and fatigue that comes from a whole lot of hustle and bustle.

After a full year of working hard, many of us approach the holidays on the cusp of physical and mental burn-out. There’s a lot going on in our everyday lives. Now add the slew of parties to host or attend, the search for the perfect gifts, the decorating of absolutely everything, the cooking and baking, the travelling to visit friends and family, and a partridge in a pear tree! It’s no surprise that the season leaves many of us utterly exhausted.

If you’re hoping to enjoy the holidays this year, here’s some advice to help you take control of the month ahead:

Don’t Over-schedule

The office party, drinks with the neighbours, seeing those cousins who are visiting from out of town, and so on. The list of obligatory appearances mixed with the stuff that makes our holidays special, multiplies quickly. Be realistic with your time and choose those events that mean the most to you. It’s okay to respectfully decline an invitation to keep your enjoyment of the season (and your sanity) top of mind.

Plan and Make Lists

Writing things down allows us to transfer all the chaotic thoughts, plans and to-dos from our brains to a simple sheet of paper. Physically seeing tasks, calendars and shopping lists laid out in front of us helps us prioritize, re-assess, organize and come at our undertakings in a logical, efficient way. Make that list (and check it twice) so you’re not completely embarrassed because you forgot about the office gift exchange!

Count Your Blessings and Give Back

It’s a season of luxury and indulgence for many of us. Focusing on gratitude and finding ways to do some good is a meaningful holiday tradition to adopt for yourself or your family. Food banks, children’s charities, animal shelters and nursing homes are always in need of donations or volunteers. Helping those less fortunate is the best gift you can give your soul.

Beware of Perfect Posts

Planning to wow your guests with an elaborate holiday meal, or thinking of getting crafty with some homemade gifts? Remember to approach such tasks with a dash of reality. Those social posts meant to inspire, can just as easily make us feel totally frustrated and inferior. This is the real world, not a highlight reel. Don’t place the pressure of perfection upon yourself. It’s no fun!

Don’t Overspend

There’s nothing worse than starting off the new year with hefty credit card bills. We all want to splurge a little by buying the perfect gifts or planning that much needed getaway, but so often our intentions to bring joy to ourselves or others result in stress-inducing debt. Set a budget for your holiday spending and do your best to stick to it. Come January, when all the festive dust settles, you’ll be glad you did.

Breathe

During this hectic time of year, we’re all doing more and likely putting our own needs last so that those we love can have the best holiday ever. Set aside some time to unwind and enjoy the season. The best gift you can give yourself is a little time, just for you. Sit by the fire, read a good book, get outdoors, soak in a soothing bath, schedule a massage.

Hopefully these simple tips will keep you full of festive cheer. Remember to keep the true meaning of the season in mind, whatever that may be to you.