Jennifer Lyon

Monday, November 27th, 2017
Weekend Roundup & Holiday Madness

First, our Thanksgiving was great and zoomed by way too fast. The entire four days was a blur of trying to be everywhere and do everything. I bet a lot of you can relate! Which brings me to my next point:

Holiday Madness. Shopping, wrapping, decorating, blowing the budget, money worries, cooking, cleaning, dealing with misunderstandings…it’s enough to drain any of us. Then add things like work deadlines and no wonder we feel a little bit like:

The Grinch

As for me, I’ve accepted that I can only carve a few hours of writing time out during the season, but I’m going to commit to those few hours. The last few weeks have completely gotten away from me and that’s going to stop (after I take Wizard to a doctor appointment today–that’s the kind of stuff constantly getting in my way this year). It’s okay to prioritize a few hours for the work that I love.

But there’s so much more. And here’s a few of my tips:

  1. Either we manage our stress or it will manage us. So let’s adjust our holiday expectations. A perfectly decorated tree, cookie, or squeaky clean house isn’t as important as our family and friends. I know I’d rather show up and be present with a smile and a plate of the best-I-can-do (or store-bought) cookies, than show up stressed, tired and snappish. So I suggest we let go of a few smaller details to enjoy the people and moments we truly cherish. I rarely remember a clean house, but I do remember a warm smile that makes me feel welcome.
  2. Exercise even if it’s just walking the dog for fifteen minutes. Do whatever helps you relax and breathe.
  3. Forgive ourselves for mistakes. We’re human and we all make mistakes. A simply apology goes a long ways. (An apology that doesn’t include the word “but” in it. I’m sorry I overreacted. Is good a good apology. I’m sorry I overreacted but… Is an excuse not an apology.)
  4. In the same vein: Forgive those around us. Misunderstandings happen, and often there truly is no real malice behind it.  The more we can let it go, the easier it is for us to move onto a better place.
  5. However, we are perfectly within our rights to simply walk away from toxic situations. I know it can be hard to let go of arguments or feeling unjustly attacked, but we’ve all worked hard to build our lives, so let’s live them and refuse to give toxic people the power to ruin more than a brief moment in our day.
  6. Do one thing for others this season: Give a few groceries or $10.00 to a food bank, drop a new toy off at a Toys for Tots location, drop off blankets and a few dollars to a local shelter or rescue, or whatever matters to you. That one gesture will make you a holiday hero to some adult, child or pet out there, and you’ll feel great for having done it.

Okay guys, now it’s your turn. How was your Thanksgiving weekend and do you have any tips you’d like to add for managing holiday stress?

8 comments to “Weekend Roundup & Holiday Madness”

  1. Diane
    November 27th, 2017 at 2:13 am · Link

    Thanksgiving was fun and quiet with friends. Last night we saw a great movie – “wonder” – a really great story and very we done

  2. B.E. Sanderson
    November 27th, 2017 at 7:13 am · Link

    Thanksgiving was nice. Quiet, but then again, all our holidays are quiet. =o)

    The best way for me to manage stress around the holidays is to have no expectations. And to avoid crowds. The tree will be up when I get it up. Dinner will be what it is. We don’t exchange gifts anymore, so no worries there. As for crowds, we’d have to fly someplace to be with either family for the holidays and, well, yuck. We’re happy in our hermitage.

  3. Silver James
    November 27th, 2017 at 10:16 am · Link

    Thanksgiving was very low-key. Weekend was split between stewing over the end of the freaking WIP, college football, and book listening. Money is a deal this Christmas so we’re doing gifts from the heart–time or crafts. Which brings it’s own stress. :roll:

    Tips? Let it go: Do what you can, ignore the rest. That includes letting go of any guilt.

    Okay. I have a chapter, epilogue and The End to get to. Have a great week!

  4. Jenn
    November 27th, 2017 at 11:07 am · Link

    Diane, sounds like you had a relaxing Thanksgiving. Thanks for telling me about movie “Wonder” I’d forgotten it was coming out. Since you liked it, I think we’ll try to make time to see it this week or weekend.

  5. Jenn
    November 27th, 2017 at 11:10 am · Link

    B.E., good to hear you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. No expectations would simplify things a lot for sure. I’m not quite there yet as I do enjoy a lot of the traditions and family parties. But sometimes, it’s tempting to go into full hermit mode :-)

  6. Jenn
    November 27th, 2017 at 11:20 am · Link

    Silver, I hope low-key Thanksgiving took some stress off. I know that end-the-damned-book stress (I actually have files named that when I’m stewing over the end).

    I hope you can come up with some low-cost stress-free crafty gifts. I’ve gotten a few over the years that I loved. But I have no craft skills, all I can really do is bake and that can get expensive.

    Yes on your tip! Guilt is a problem for me.

    Hope you get to The End of the book!!!

  7. Viki S.
    November 27th, 2017 at 4:35 pm · Link

    Thanksgiving was very nice. Too much work but worth it to be with family and enjoy one another. Friday we saw Harrison. He’s so cute :). He’s keeping his mom on her toes.

    I have no tips. I just try to go with the flow and hope all goes well ;). Oh, I do do all my shopping on line.

    Love the photos of Maggie ;).

    Have a wonderful evening!

  8. Jenn
    November 27th, 2017 at 4:38 pm · Link

    Viki, it sounds like you’re doing all or most of the work yourself. This year, three of us spread out the cooking a little and that helped make it easier.

    Harrison is such a cute baby! It’s so hard to be a new mom.

    Shopping online is the way to go. I just don’t know what I’m getting anyone yet.

    Aw, thanks on Maggie’s pics :-)

    Hope you are having a great start to your week!

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