This guest post was written by Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD.
The holidays are always hectic, but this year takes the cake (or pumpkin pie, perhaps). Not only will we have to get all of our usual tasks and obligations done, but we are also going to need to figure out how to do everything in a safe way- one that’s still festive. Thanksgiving was the first step in this new hurdle. We’ve all had to decide whether we’d be traveling, or whether it might just be safer to stay home and schedule a holiday Zoom call. This dilemma is one that families will continue to face as the rest of the holidays approach. Because women often find themselves doing the bulk of the planning, we’ll be front and center with the choice-making process. This can cause some additional stress for us. Here are some tips on how women can ease holiday stress during the pandemic:
- Communicate. Pull input from all family members about how they think the holidays should go this year. When in doubt, schedule something remotely and uncover ways to make it fun. Holiday bingo, telling stories and jokes, or sharing what you’re grateful for. Just because you’re geographically far doesn’t mean you have to feel distant.
- Don’t worry. If one family member feels strongly about the arrangements, try to accommodate them within reason (as long as it’s safe and practical to do so).
- Create new traditions. Maybe you can send each other inscribed books on Christmas Eve, do a socially distanced cookie swap, or pull together a large group for Zoom caroling. There’s always a workaround.
There are also many other ways to pivot too. Our new environment requires us to get more creative in terms of how to make the holidays special, but with a little extra care, we can still make it joyful and memorable.
We’ll also need to dig deep and remember to take care of ourselves too so that we’re not lost in the holiday shuffle. You can do so by:
- Taking time for you. Remember to keep up with your self-care: get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and keep up with your fitness routine despite being busy.
- Focusing on fun. Sometimes we get so caught up with all that we need to do that we forget to stop and smile. So, pause every now and again and laugh it up. That’s what life is all about.
- Giving yourself a gift (you deserve it). Whether it’s those earrings you’ve had your eye on, or just a quick soak in a lavender bath. Don’t forget yourself in the holiday rush.
- Putting work aside when you need to. Say no to bah- humbug and give your laptop a break. Getting balance right at this time of year is critical. Your work will still be there when you come back to it.
Although it’s been a wild year, 2020 has forced many of us to analyze our lives, make modifications and come to understand what’s important. This self-reflection has been really good for us. It’s helped us to see how hectic our lives were and to focus on those things that matter most. We’ve even been able to use that extra time to do things we never used to have time for. Let’s carry that initiative and spirit with us through the holidays, and into 2021 and beyond as we’ll continue to hit new challenges and dilemmas along with new opportunities for fun, success and precious moments with our families. Say goodbye to stress and hello to the holiday spirit, no matter how the holidays unfold this year. I hope you enjoy how women can ease holiday stress during the pandemic.
Bio: Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD, is an entrepreneurship coach, business and branding mentor, trainer and author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur. She serves as a mentor on Entrepreneur magazine’s “Ask an Expert” forum and through her own consulting business (Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD, LLC), is featured among other CEOs, Influencers and Celebrities on the BAM Network and was recently selected as one of 150 Marketers to Follow by Rubicly.
This has been a guest post for christinemichelcarter.com.