The holidays can be a very stressful time, especially for women. Typically, women play the role of stage managers and set designers for the holiday scene, ensuring every decoration is in place and every present is purchased.
From food and fun to cards and carols, women make sure the events are seamless and smooth. And to top it all off, they also try to ensure the true meaning of the events are not lost, encouraging everyone to feel the spiritual and emotional connections that come with this special time of year. Certainly seems like a lot for one person to handle!
“While we women work to keep things organized and enjoyable for family and friends during the holiday season, we sometimes forget about one particular person’s experience: ourselves,” says Dorothy Atalla. “This year, take a moment every so often to turn inward and discover the spirituality, emotion and joy of the season.”
Taking this time for one’s self is sometimes easier said than done. Atalla can provide 7 tips for working on your own spiritual connection and enjoyment of everyone together during this time of year including:
1. Turn off the phones, have that cup of tea and contemplation you’ve been longing for, and then make your holiday to-do list. After you’ve made the list, eliminate all non-essential to-dos.
2. Ask yourself, do I really have to make a holiday dinner from scratch all by myself to show my love? Once you decide that you don’t have to, you’ll be free to happily improvise. Take a tip from the Food Network’s Sandra Lee and become a semi-homemade holiday goddess
3. If people in your holiday card list haven’t responded the last two seasons, just drop their names from your list. If they want to reinstate themselves, they will send you a card.
4. For gifts to family members, give a card with a generous check or gift card enclosed. Allowing children or younger family members to make their own choices among the abundance of selections in a store can sometimes be more enjoyable for them and takes less stress off of you.
5. For moms of young children in particular: gift yourself by hiring a high school age or college age helper to babysit your kids at the point when your holiday to-do list requires prime time effort. This isn’t an extravagance. After all, how many moms come down with a bad cold or flu at the end of the season and pass it on to their kids, when more money is spent on doctor bills?
6. Encourage everyone to work together to create a feast for the senses and the heart. Ask everyone to be an “actor” instead of just an “extra” on the holiday stage. Have each member of the family to create a pledge card with a creative activity that will unite the family in love and fun.
7. Take a moment for yourself to turn inward and reflect on the spiritual connection you have to the season. Taking time for yourself is not selfishness. It’s just good self-care. To give joy to others, we must have something to give. Feeling anxious, tired, and depressed just doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to feeling full of holiday spirit that we can give to others.