The holidays are both a joyous and stressful time of year. I’m at a place in my life where this time of year is changing from years past and I’ve been surprised, anxious, and grateful for that. I recently got engaged (it’s been almost two months and that’s still strange to type) and we had an engagement party last month to celebrate. Being engaged is something that I never thought I would be per se and I suppose because of that I never really considered what that actually means in regards to family.

I’m happily gaining new family members; I’m having to figure out how to accommodate my fiancé’s/my future family as well as make time for my family who mostly live 2 to 3 hours away. I’ve learned a lot about balance lately and what is life but a brilliant balancing act really? I’m trying to navigate all of these happy emotions and also realize that I’m allowed to feel anxious, even stressed, about either missing my family in my hometown or feeling inadequate for not being able to be two places at once. I’ve always been such a people pleaser until recently (the past few years) and I guess this time of year really brings that out in me.

I’m not a self-help guru by any means, but I have learned the following from experience:

  1. Allow time for yourself no matter how busy you may seem. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but you also may be stretching yourself too thin. Don’t feel obligated to go to every social function this season.
  2. You’re only human. It’s okay to disappoint people. I know that disappointing your loved ones is one of the worst feelings, but it’s going to happen. Realize that doesn’t make you any less worthy.
  3. Learn when and how to effectively say no. Believe me this is a life changer.
  4. Live in the moment. You can only plan so much before you begin to neglect the presence of the people around you. Enjoy your time with them, enjoy what is happening now.
  5. Don’t stretch yourself too thin financially. I LOVE gift giving, but wedding planning and saving for potential moving expenses along with everyday expenses has added a lot to my financial plate. Your loved ones will understand if you can’t spend hundreds of dollars on gifts. Believe me, they will love you all the same.

I hope that everyone has an absolutely wonderful holiday season and, with these thoughts in mind, hopefully a less stressful one. If you have time, our city is absolutely spectacular during this season, so get out and enjoy or stay in and watch all the holiday movies (and keep warm in the process).



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