Dealing With the Harder Parts of the Holidays…

Just over two weeks until Christmas is here – December is flying! We have a lot of really fun things going on between now and the end of the year, and also a few hard things, making for some mixed emotions over the next few weeks.

We’re hosting Christmas Eve at our house for the first time this year, so I’m busy planning the menu, cleaning and getting the house ready for guests. I cannot wait to share the day with family and celebrate all of the great things in life.

We’re also gearing up for Casey to have surgery on a herniated disc in his back next week. He’s been dealing with back pain for a long time now, ranging from annoying to debilitating. Even though we wanted to avoid surgery – after meeting with his doctor, it is his best option at this point. Recovery should be fairly straight forward, but he’ll be out of commission when it comes to chasing our little rascal around the house for a bit. At least I’ll get my exercise in! 😉

I love Thanksgiving, I love Christmas, and I love the weeks from November 22nd through January 3rd – the time means a lot to me. It means spending time with family and friends who live further away including my baby brother who lives in Fargo. It’s hard to having him so far from us on a regular basis so we really soak it in during his time home. There are always lots of laughs and shenanigans with him around. I can’t wait to see you Hank! ❤

Okay, onto the message I had in mind for this blog. I read an article the other day – on Buzzfeed of all places. It was a compilation of some small changes to make over the holidays. Because even though the holidays are a joyful time, they can cause anxiety and stress for people (myself included.) The article really resonated with me for some reason so I want to recap a few of the main things that stuck out. It also geared a lot towards keeping your mental health in check during the crazy holiday season. It’s so important to take a step back and make sure you and those around you are doing well, and feeling good.

Don’t put pressure on yourself: Understand that expectations lie to you. Thanks to the never-ending Christmas ads and people constantly sharing their holiday highlights it’s easy to build up particular expectations. Instead, remind yourself to practice gratitude for what you do have.

Plan time for yourself: Take some time for you, whether it’s a long hot shower, or a quiet Netflix/reading session by yourself. It’s important to spend time with your loved ones during the holidays, but not if you’re putting your own mental health at risk. Spend time with your family, but make sure you set aside some time for you and do something you really love, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Schedule Christmas-free days: Definitely schedule ‘No Holiday’ days: no writing cards, no wrapping, baking, shopping, etc. Instead, make it a day to lay on the couch and watch a movie. Also don’t over schedule; don’t feel like you have to go to all the parties.

To read the full article – go here

The holidays also seem to be hard for a lot of people. Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen more friends than I can count on both of my hands lose family members – parents, grandparents, and extended family (our family included, we’re heading to a memorial service tonight). I lost my Grandma 4 years ago the week of Thanksgiving, so even though I love the holiday itself – it always brings some bittersweet memories to the surface. This just serves as a reminder to be kind to people, because you never know what they’re facing daily.

If you’re having a hard time this holiday season, reach out for help, your voice is important and you are loved. ❤

I hope you all have a great weekend, we’re expecting 6-8 inches of snow where I live, so I guess winter is officially here!



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Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

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