5 Holiday Stresses You’ll Face In Michigan and How to Handle Them
Here we go! 'Tis the season to be stressed out! 🎶Fa, la, la, la, la...and so on. The holiday season is truly a wonderful time of year, but self-imposed Pure Michigan Thanksgiving and Christmas expectations can be our ultimate demise.
Today's Parents recently addressed this topic and 5 stress-causing hurdles we'll all face over several weeks. No worries though, they also provided some solutions on how to overcome them as well.
1. Overcome Holiday Superparent Syndrome
You've been there: on the verge of a meltdown because you forgot a side dish or something equally as stressful, in the moment. Been there, done that, and lived. Psychologist Karen Cohen, speaking with Today's Parents, recommends asking yourself if what you "need" is doable, necessary, and worthy of your sanity:
When we talk about setting realistic expectations, it doesn’t mean lowering your expectations, it means making them realistic for the setting you are in.
2. You Can't Be Everywhere All At Once
Often when Michigan families come together, holiday traditions will collide, and having them realistically coexist in harmony isn't going to happen or at least require a ridiculous amount of travel. Cohen says the best way to handle this is to create your unique traditions and simply be honest with family that you won't be making it to some events:
Be sensitive but assertive—taking care of yourself is positive. You’ll be less likely to take on more and to end up in a place where you feel stressed or burdened,
Telling your mom you won't make it to her function is easier said than done, but it can greatly reduce your anxiety. Let people know you'd love to see them and you'll be home if they'd like to come by.
3. Shop 'til You Drop? Nope, Do It With Another Rhyme in Mind
I get it. Wanting to lavish your kiddo with gifts and give them EVERYTHING they want is a tough expectation to overcome, especially for those who might be trying to one-up an ex. Ask yourself this: Will they remember the gift or the way they felt more? When shopping this year, experts recommend keeping this in mind:
Something they want,
Something they need,
Something to wear,
Something to read
Cohen recommends quality over quantity. Making the holidays more of a privilege and less about entitlement early on for kids will make their future celebrations relatively stress-free.
4. Forget Fake It 'til You Make It, Be Real
The typical Michigan home is only truly clean for 11 days on average. Thinking that your home will remain 'open house' clean throughout the holidays will only lead to making you and those around you miserable.
Let go of the Pinterest-perfect decor. Focus on what fits your taste and budget, not what will get likes on social. You've got enough going on, who cares if there is a wreath on your door or extra tinsel on your tree? You have more significant things to deal with, like life.
5. Your Not Michigan's Steve Harvey, Family Feuds
From divorces to poorly timed engagements, last-minute veganism to political unrest, families will have disagreements. Throwing yourself into the middle only draws you into the line of fire.
Knowing that there may be disagreements ahead of time means you need to be flexible to survive these family dynamics. Remind yourself that not being a part of the drama may be the best gift you can give yourself.
So there you go Michigan. Laugh in the face of stress, catch snowflakes of anxiety on your tongue, and come to grips that your Mitten Holiday Season will be imperfectly enjoyable.
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