The other night, I took an extremely relaxing yin yoga class.  The teacher started the class by saying it’s the holiday season and it’s a very stressful time for us, so tonight, we are going to focus on our shoulders and do postures that will help us release the stress and tension.  Full disclosure, I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders and every time I go to get a massage, the massage therapist says to me, you have knots, you carry a lot of stress in your neck and shoulders and we need to work this out. So, upon hearing my yoga teacher say tonight we are going to focus on our shoulders, I got really excited and said to myself, I picked the right class tonight. 

However, the reason why my yoga teacher decided to design class this way got me thinking, why do we allow the holiday season to stress us out? Isn’t this the time of year when we are all just a little bit nicer to each other?  Isn’t this the time of year when we are just a little more generous?  Isn’t this the time of year when we slow down just a bit, maybe even take a few days off of work? Ideally, I think we aim for this, but in practicality, I don’t think that it works out the way we want it to work out.  Why is that?

I think we all want that “perfect holiday season” and that causes stress.  However, none of us knows what the “perfect holiday season” even means.  We may think we see “perfection” on social media or in movies.  I think we over-commit, over-spend, over-decorate, and over-eat in order to have this idealized holiday season.  I also think we undervalue self-care.  However, I do know, that we can still enjoy the holidays without doing “it all” and getting stressed out.  Remember, the holidays are a time to enjoy friends and family; to celebrate your religious beliefs (if you choose to do so); and take joy in your life.  The holidays are not a time to be competitive, go into debt, get into arguments, or get stressed out. 

We all have such busy lives with lots of commitments.  We don’t need to unnecessarily make our lives more difficult because we feel the need to host the perfect party, buy the most expensive present, or in any other way, keep up with what we need to do to have the “perfect holiday season”. 

What we need to remember is that we are doing just fine and we are doing enough.  You don’t have to go to every party and buy the most expensive gifts. You don’t have to live up to the false perception of the “perfect holiday season”.  There are no competitions.  How you decide to celebrate the holidays is “perfect” for you. 

This holiday season, I challenge you to let go of stress, enjoy, and just have fun!! Oh, and take lots of pictures, you’ll enjoy them years from now.