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Enjoy the Holidays (Seriously!)

Two of my good friends give Martha Stewart a run for her money this time of year.

They both bake enough to feed a small country, decorate as if Better Homes and Gardens is scheduled for a photo shoot, and write holiday letters that could be short-listed for a National Book Award if there was a letter category.

But there is one major difference between them. For my friend Amy (the names have been changed to protect the innocent), it’s a truly wonderful time and my friend Michelle is ready for a nervous breakdown by the first week in January.

The holiday season can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming.

There are a slew of additional commitments, the to-do list seems to have been sprinkled with super-growth powder, and all those crowds mean everything takes longer than normal.

But it can also be a particularly joyous and relaxing time. Work tends to slow down, we spend time with friends and family (I know, sometimes the latter belongs in the stressful category!), and it’s a great time to take stock of the year and express your gratitude.

What makes this time enjoyable for you? And what makes it stressful?

Make a list of both and then decide what choices you can (and will) make to maximize enjoy and minimize stress.

If you’re like my friend Amy, what tradeoffs can you make with your regular commitments to give yourself time to really enjoy all your holiday-related activities? And if you’re like my friend Michelle, consider letting go or simplifying the things you think you “should” be doing and focus on doing what will bring you joy during this time of year.

There’s no right way to do it. But when you make the choices that are right for you and your life, you’ll be living your days the way you want to live your life.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce, Poet

 

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