Holiday stress is the fact. That romanticized version of holiday fun and fuzzy frolic is the fantasy. You know your family isn’t a Hallmark Card. But the truth is, no one’s is. Some tips to keep stress under control:
• Plan ahead. Make a budget, don’t schedule too much. Make time for yourself, don’t drink too much alcohol and keep exercising.
• Delegate. Pass the jobs around. Don’t do it all yourself unless that’s your way of doing things.
• Accept family members as they are. Embrace the imperfections. They make your family unique. So what if a cousin’s holiday cards are tacky, or too commercial, or they’re homemade and everything is misspelled. Late cards are better than no cards. The flavor of your sister’s cornbread dressing isn’t nearly as important as the love she put into cooking it. (Just keep repeating that and eat small portions in the name of fitness, not gag prevention.)
• Perfection is the door to insanity. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. If you’re watching someone who’s doing that, a few hugs of appreciation can be in order. Love everything, including the lumpy potatoes and the watery gravy — or do it yourself next time.