Ah, November. For many it means cooler weather, leaves on the ground, and start of the busy holiday season. With Thanksgiving and religious and cultural holidays looming in the not-to-distant future, what is supposed to be a joyful time of year filled with celebration can also be filled with feelings of stress, overwhelm and pressure to have the picture-perfect holiday. Bring back the holiday cheer and make time for the creative activities you love with these tips.
Put your energy toward the things you enjoy
Thanks to the internet, people feel this pressure to have their house decked out for each holiday, serve gourmet meals, and give perfectly wrapped gifs that look like they are from a catalog. If anything, this can all together create a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead of feeling like you have to do everything — and do it perfectly — focus on the things that make you happy. If holiday decor is your thing, turn your house into a mini Christmas — or Hanukkah — village. If the thought of having to dig out everything from storage makes you break out in a cold sweat, skip it. If you love to give homemade presents, get down with your crafty self! Prefer to let someone else make the gifts? The internet is here to help. You get to define what the holidays mean, not Pinterest! Less time spent on all the things we think we are supposed to do means more time for the things we enjoy.
Bring your creativity into the things you must do
Even if you have unloaded your plate with the things you don’t enjoy, inevitably there are things we still must do that we don’t enjoy in preparing for the holidays. Perhaps you are stuck participating in the dreaded work cookie exchange when the thought of baking makes you want to hide behind your couch. How can you bring your creative interests into the process so that it is more enjoyable for you? For example, if you are really into design, how can you present the cookies in a fun and creative way? If writing is your thing, compose an ode or haikus about baking, or turn the recipe into a poem. Or instead, you can cheat a little and ask a friend who loves to bake for you and in return you do something that you enjoy for her!
Take creative breaks
With added things to do on top of your already packed schedule, it may see, impossible to find any time to relax and do things you enjoy, but finding time for creative outlets can actually help to reduce stress. While you may feel the pressure of the clock ticking, give yourself a break amidst the holiday hoopla to do things that make you happy and relax you so that you feel energized. Color in a coloring book for adults (or your kids’ — no shame in coloring in Dora if it relieves your stress!), sit down and write, cook a favorite recipe, knit, blast some music and do an interpretive dance.
How do you deal with holiday stress?
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