The holidays are just around the corner and whether you celebrate them or not–it can be a very stressful time of the year. Now more than ever, especially with social media, that stress is compounded. A personal rule of mine is to limit my social media time to 20 minutes a day max until after the new year. For me it is pretty simple to do as there are other things online that take up my time–like blogging, my YouTube channel, and eBay. Even without those things, I scroll IG to check out feeds of friends and organizations that I support and that takes roughly 20 minutes a day.
I’ve noticed in my conversations lately with friends how pressured they all seem to be to buy, travel, invest etc. Everyone around them, so they say, seems to be causing them a sense of urgency to buy, consume, and invest. I remind them that everywhere we go from now until mid-January the theme of the day is going to be buy, buy, buy in every store we enter. Believe it or not several years back hubby and I were the couple trying to keep up with everybody else. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have the income at the time, that a lot of our friends had, because we still tried to keep up. It doesn’t work my friends and it will not make you any happier. All you find is that you’ve bought a lot of things you don’t really want, you’ve possibly racked up a bit of debt, and, of course, more worries in the bargain.
Personally, I’ve found that the only way to get through the stress of the holidays is to take the time to stop and look around at all of the things in my little home and life that I do have. Appreciate them for what they are and enjoy what I have and not compare myself to others.
Another great stress reliever is to invite family and friends together on a Zoom or FaceTime call and make holiday plans for two years in a row. This way no one feels left out and everyone can see that if not this year, it will be next year. It works for us like a charm–and no hard feelings from anyone doing things this way.
In 2020 we didn’t entertain or have any holiday obligations because everyone we know is in the age bracket to stay close to home and in their own little bubble. Almost all of my friends/co-workers are working from home at this time. Here we are in 2021 and we’ve lost a couple of very close and dear friends and those left continue to want to stay close to home–at least until winter 2021-22 is over. We definitely respect that and I plan on doing what I did last year and that’s bake some goodies and drop plates off to four of our friends who live close by. We’ve already been promised a homemade pie, bread, and cranberry sauce (can’t wait). We’ll make do for another year and look forward to next Christmas and hopefully (fingers crossed) get-togethers. Until then we will make the best of this year’s and I’ll still cook and bake a lot, we’ll watch all of the James Bond films (just like every other year), play board games, read, rest and get ready for another year.
One thing that has always worked for me to do during the holidays is to find a bit of time at the end of each day to reflect on my life, work, home, hubby, marriage, and all the other things I am thankful for. Some nights I tuck myself into a corner in our home and go through album after album of Christmas photos from years gone by and my heart is so full by the time I get through it’s nearly bursting.
You know, every day we are always looking for the next big thing. Be it new furniture, clothing, likes, comments, the fountain of youth, 15 minutes of fame, viral videos, trips, stuff–you name it. But you know as well as I do when you are sick, or have spent time with someone sick or dying, or you yourself have a close call with death all you want is simple, easy, and all the little things. Just recently I was going through a rough patch of car issues, cat health issues, and hubby health issues and besides the praying I did for all to get better and stop hurting, I also sat back and prayed for myself. I prayed for long, boring, mundane days where the problems were easy to solve, no drama, or the unexpected.
What I’ve discovered in my life is that it really is the little things in life that add up to be the big things. We’re all waiting for the really big moments, but you know life is a lot of little moments woven together day to day, month to month, and year to year. So go ahead this year and enjoy each moment of the holiday season. Whether it is just you, or yourself and your partner, or you have a whole family full of people to please. Enjoy the simple things, relax and find peace in the moments you share with each other, whether you’re just sitting around and sharing fun memories or spending time doing fun things together.
Take a deep breath wherever you are and give yourself permission to go easy on yourself and others this year and enjoy!
Until next time, be well and be safe.