5 tips to make your holidays brighter

The holidays are here and it’s time to make the most of this splendid season. Here are 5 tips to reduce holiday stress and increase joy:

  1. Prioritize what means most to you during the holidays. Is it getting your home decked out with greenery, twinkling lights and decor? Is it celebrating with family, friends or co-workers? Do you get satisfaction from giving the perfect gift and getting your shopping done and wrapping taken care of early? Making your favorite recipes and holiday snacks? Or does giving back to your community and causes that you care about bring you the most joy? Decide now to prioritize whatever matters most to you, even if it’s getting cozy on the couch for a streaming marathon of your favorite holiday movies.
  2. Set healthy boundaries for the holidays and yourself by asking for what you want or need. Say no without guilt. We can not control others but we can choose how we feel. Say yes because you want to. Let go of trying to control what other people eat, wear, or do during the holidays. Even your kids.
  3. Get out and do something festive! One of my favorite holiday events on the Coast is the Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival. I love driving the beach highway when the lights are lit up. One of our new traditions is to wait for a colder day to bundle up and ride the Ferris wheel and take in all the decorated boats in the harbor. This year I’m making it a priority to check out the gingerbread house decorating workshop at our local children’s museum, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. There will probably be more icing and candies in mouths than on houses given the age of my kids but I’m sure it will be a holiday event they’ll enjoy. Check out social media and your local mayor’s office page for free and inexpensive festivities to take part of in your town.
  4. Take time for yourself. It sounds cliche but the holidays can leave you scrambling to meet everyone’s needs but your own. Turn up your favorite tunes, light some candles and take a warm bath with a hot chocolate (or a hot toddy). Clear your calendar and get cozy so you can have a streaming fest in front of the fire and eat too many of those delicious Christmas Crack Pretzels you’ll want to make after I share the recipe in my next post. Treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting while sales are on. Whatever it is you like to do on your Me Time, make it happen over the holidays so you don’t lose yourself and your mind in the hustle and bustle of the season.
  5. Take a cue from the Kindness Elves and find a way to spread holiday cheer to others in need. Nothing makes a holiday brighter or makes you feel better than doing something that helps someone else. Good deeds can be as big as setting up a fundraising event or providing meals and as small as shoveling snow or wrapping gifts for a neighbor. All are meaningful. The holidays can be a hard time for many. And if you’re hurting during the holidays one of the best ways to feel better is to give back. A cup of coffee, a pair of gloves, toys for tots. So many great ways to pay it forward this season. I’d love to hear what you like to do or more ideas to spread joy in the comments on this post!

Thanks for taking the time to read and share my post. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Best,

Sarah

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