By Kimberly Kralovic
Perhaps you long for Christmas throughout the year. In your head, everything falls into place. However, have you found yourself breathing through the chaos when reality hits? This simple tactic can help you handle holiday stress better.
Know Your Strengths
As an introvert, Christmas is tricky. In my head, I love cookies, people, and traditions. Yet I’m also aware of my personal needs for quiet and peace.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized the power of moderation. Suddenly, being an introvert wasn’t such a bad thing at all. In fact, after praying, I realized that being aware of strengths and weaknesses is a game-changer.
Years ago, I felt burnout from seeing my family. It’s not that I didn’t want to see them, but being around people for hours ignited fatigue and would get the best of me. Finally, I checked out and just wanted to go home and relax.
After weeks and months of buildup, all the fears and stress piled up into one day. Nothing is ever as seamless as the perfect picture in our heads.
In those moments where I didn’t place boundaries, I closed my eyes and breathed. Sometimes, I hid in the kitchen alone for a few minutes to recharge; every attempt mattered. Although seeing my family out of town was a bit more complicated, I didn’t always feel exhausted around them. Plus, not everyone was in the same room or under the same roof at once.
You don’t have to check out; you can adapt. First, know your circumstances. Then, understand what you can handle and the pros and cons without hurting others. Knowing your strengths can transform your holiday experience.
Set Realistic Expectations
It’s important to set realistic expectations. Talk about them with your husband before saying yes to holiday dinners and all the dessert-filled evenings. Then, implement a doable plan to excite your soul while taking care of your household first.
Without taking care of yourself, you can’t pour out blessings onto others. Open communication is a must before you experience burnout.
Here are five ways to optimize your needs around Christmas:
- Don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything.
- Pray before juggling all the duties.
- Conserve your energy.
- Take breaks (and deep breaths) between events.
- Reserve alone time for you and your husband.
Also, spend alone time with you and your kids without outside distractions. Having quality one-on-one time with each child is also necessary. I also find it helpful to do one event per day, or sometimes one per weekend. Then spend the next day recharging.
For instance, if I go to my in-laws on Christmas Eve, I’ll spend the day alone before going out in the evening. Then, I’ll visit my family later the next day. There is beauty in taking breaks.
Christmas is a time for giving, but gifting yourself with little doses of grace is the ultimate present. The food, family, and expectations can be a lot to handle for anyone. However, setting aside time for your needs should come first. Be sure to decompress before you stress, and remember that breathing through the chaos of the holidays really helps.
Wife Step: Implement a plan with your husband while keeping your family’s needs in mind this holiday season.
Kimberly Kralovic is a newlywed, writer, blogger and has a deep passion for encouraging women along the way. As an overcomer, she strives to touch souls with her authentic and impactful words, making others feel less alone in their journey while trusting God’s direction. Her tiny doses of happiness include hot cups of coffee, walking in nature, and all of life’s simple treasures.