While visions of sugar plums dance in their heads, you’re up planning, shopping, list making, decorating, wrapping, baking, cooking, cleaning, and stressing about the holidays.   Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other seasonal celebration, there is a certain amount of stress to being the keeper of all things joyous!   

Stop obsessing over perfection.  Much easier said than done when you are Anxiety Girl...able to leap to the worst conclusion in a single thought!   I realized at some point in my life that I could no longer keep all of the balls in the air. Guess what. They went splat and the world DID NOT END!  I realized that my idea of perfection was only that...an idea. My idea could change and a new normal could be established. What matters most are the memories we create...and no one wants to remember a crazed out Mrs. Claus.  It’s the times around the table decorating cookies, however messy and imperfect. The tree with more ornaments on one side than the other. The present that has to sit with one side on the floor because there was not enough paper left on the roll to wrap the entire thing.  What my adult family now laughs about are not the perfectly executed holidays where everyone had the exact number of presents. They laugh about the goofs and holi-disasters! Those are the memories that bind and we laugh about year after year. The “remember when” moments.  

If stress is unavoidable, there are some simple things you can do to help relieve the tension.  A walk in the neighborhood with a furry friend is my favorite. Say no to things that take up time with no value or reward...this is a good time to examine the “have to’s” in life.   Laugh...simply, laugh. It’s amazing what a good laugh can do for your spirit! Mom was right...eat a good breakfast before to juice up on caffeine in the morning! Go tech free every evening and give your complete attention to other things.  Do not give up your exercise time in place of other tasks… you’ll be trading the stress of needing more time for the stress of guilt and not feeling sharp! Last but not least...take a good, long whiff of a citrus. It’s calming and will clear your head!  

Let me take this opportunity to wish each and everyone a perfectly imperfect holiday season!  Hold your loved ones close and let them know how much they are loved! 2019 is around the corner and with it all the hope a new year brings!