Struggling to find the right work-life-holiday balance? Check out the first post in our series for tips on how medical professionals can prioritize self-care during the Christmas season.
Stressed about holiday obligations and expectations specifically, from gift-buying and meal preparation to playing the part of the flawless host(ess)? At the end of the day, crafting the “perfect” holiday gathering will pale in comparison to enjoying time with your loved ones. Make your Christmas special (and still pull off that beautiful celebration, minus the anxiety) by delegating tasks and incorporating family into some of the preparations that you usually handle alone.
Or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, get a little creative and shake up your whole holiday routine:
Give in and let Aunt Betty make that “unique” dish she keeps raving about.
If you are usually solely responsible for preparing an extravagant holiday meal for immediate and extended family and friends, request that guests bring their own signature desserts, beverages, or side dishes. Who knows, you may even end up with a new favorite recipe for next year!
Turn holiday shopping into a game.
Cynthia Clinton, LPC, said that Christmas shopping used to be anxiety-provoking for her until her family of six went a little non-traditional one year: “We set a rule that all Christmas presents had to be secondhand, salvaged, or homemade, and it was probably the most fun we have ever had. The kids came up with everything from vintage poodle skirts to already scratched-off (but winning!) lottery tickets, and we didn’t need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to have a happy, hilarious holiday.”
Revive the holiday wonder of your childhood and pay it forward.
Reminisce on all the things that made Christmas so enchanting when you were a child. Was it the sheer beauty of neighborhood decorations, the thought of Santa’s magical evening journey, or perhaps the joy of finding the perfect gift for loved ones? Whatever you most loved years ago, find a way this year to bring your favorite Christmas memories to life for others. This could mean conspiring with friends to finally cross caroling off everyone’s holiday bucket list, or perhaps acting as a “Secret Santa” (beard optional) for a family in need in your community. Whatever direction you choose to go, reigniting the wonder of Christmas in your own life may really be as simple as bringing that old magic to life for others.
However you celebrate this year, we at Consilium would like to wish all of our healthcare providers a happy (and stress-free) holiday season. If you have a clever “holiday hack” not mentioned above, share the wisdom—add it in the comments below! Merry Christmas, from our families to yours.