Holidays Don't Have to Mean Stress

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The holidays are right around the corner! And my only grievances with holidays are the stress.

You know what I mean, going home doesn’t always mean getting rest. It’s as if the minute we land we have this all or nothing mentality that easily runs us into the ground. For the week home our relationship pushes pause and we make sure we check off every name & place off our list.

This year we are trying something different and I encourage you to do the same. We call it our Holiday Huddle. Brian and I sat down and talked about the people we were most excited to see and the events we simply could not miss. We wrote down our favorite spots we wanted to hit and the things we couldn’t leave home without doing. Then we looked at the calendar, the dates and times of where we would be and when, and planned it out.

Avoid the end of the trip breakdown and create a strategy to protect your resources.

Here’s the most important part: we talked about boundaries. Hard lines we’ve drawn in the sand and carved time just for the two of us. I don’t want Sunday to come and I’m angry with him because I feel unloved and forgotten. I find myself most frustrated when I feel like an afterthought.

A little bit of consideration goes a long way. Don’t say yes on the spot, speak to your host, hubs, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend about the decision before you commit. Saying yes in the moment is often at the expense of your significant other’s opinion. It’s an easy way to remind your honey you love them, and you’re there together. We all have emotional, physical, and spiritual resources.

Protecting your resources often means saying no to a plan or a suggestion.

It's so hard to say no!!! (especially when it feels like you must say yes.) Operating outside of our resources will plant seeds of resentment. Quiet time, walking Franklin with Brian, and exercising are part of my everyday routine I need to live into who God created me to be. Those things feed and fill me up. But, the minute I’m away from home they feel like a luxury I can’t afford in the midst of a sea of obligations.

If going home for the holidays can create a bit of stress think about the things that make you tick. Get up an hour early while you’re away to have some quiet moments to yourself. Tell mom you can’t go visit the next-door neighbor you haven’t seen in 7 years because you need to take a nap. Offer to run an errand and take the long way home for a moment of peace.

We are so grateful for a family who always makes coming home worth it. Without the kindness and generosity of all of our family members we couldn’t lead the life we do. In one calendar year we have been guests in over a dozen homes—often bringing our dog and bags. Along the way I am learning the art of being a good guest is giving the best you.

How do you balance your relationship with family and travel?

What is your strategy to keep your sanity when the holidays get the best of you?