While the holiday season is usually a time for seeing loved ones, taking off work, and is overall meant to be a cheerful and happy time, in reality, there can be a lot of anxiety and stress that comes with it. The holiday season is now upon us and we are all definitely feeling the stress of it. It is easy to become consumed with the idea of a perfect holiday, the perfect gift and experiencing all the holiday activities while we can. Whether it’s the expectations you set for your future enjoyment or the stress you put on yourself to meet those expectations, the holidays can potentially induce more stress than they reduce. And amidst the bustle and chaos of the holiday season, we can easily forget what the season is all about.
Take a deep breath this week and remember to savor the present moment. No one will remember if you didn’t have enough chairs, or what the centerpiece in the dining room was, or if your gift was the best they ever received. However, they will remember that they were invited, welcomed and that their presence was valued by people they cared about. The perfect holiday does not exist, and it is unfair to set those expectations for yourself or to try to make it perfect. This holiday season, try to disregard all of the hype and place the importance of the season back where it belongs: cherishing the special connection and care you have with your loved ones, expressing your gratitude towards them, living in the present moment, and enjoying this special time when everyone has the chance to get together.
If you are unable to actually be with your loved ones this holiday season, it doesn’t mean you can’t still practice these thoughts and acts of gratitude. Find time to express appreciation for them in your lives; actions and words of affirmation hold much more value than any gift ever could. Many people put so much pressure on themselves to find a gift that truly expresses how they feel about a person. But in reality, the best gift you can give someone is your time, attention and love, especially the ones you care about like your loved ones. This holiday season, take the time and the effort to inform the people you love how grateful you are for them, and try to spend some quality time with them too. Happy Holidays from everyone here at Accepting Therapy!