She asked you to bring a dessert and you can’t forget to pick up another pack of Christmas cards. Where in the world are the extra rolls of tape and why didn’t Susie let you know she needed a shepherd’s costume before dress rehearsal day?
Celebrating the holidays is wonderful and meant to be enjoyed. But sometimes the swirl of activities and schedule demands make it anything but enjoyable. If you feel overwhelmed throughout the holiday season, today I’m sharing 5 ways to thrive when the holidays feel overwhelming.
1. Determine to simplify what you can control.
Is baking 13 different kinds of cookies your downfall? Knock it down to 3. Do the decorations make you feel like you constantly must tidy and pick up? Cut back and leave a room undecorated. Holiday celebrations often include extended family, ministries, or co-workers and as a result, we personally don’t control the dates or times or details. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, determine to simplify what you can control.
2. Ditch the temptation to compare.
So the shiniest house in the neighborhood looks fabulous! Cheer them on, smile at their twinkling lights, but don’t feel like you have to try to keep up. Neither should you be discouraged because you didn’t have the time or resources to decorate like you wanted. Just enjoy what you are able to do and claim victory over the trap of comparison. Comparison only robs us of joy.
3. Discover tenacity through small moments of rest.
As mom to 7, I’ve always needed to energize myself through taking short breaks whenever I could. Holidays often involve travelling, adjusting sleep schedules or even sleeping arrangements. Whenever there is a moment to take a little time to rest, seize it. Those small moments of rest in a day’s time can be the trick to overcoming the overwhelming.
4. Deal with problems one at a time.
The holidays do not come with an automatic exclusion from problems. Life still initiates disasters, disease, and even death. When the issues snowball, don’t look at the big picture and wonder how on earth you can deal with all the extra circumstances. Slow down and take it just one day, one hour, even one moment at a time.
Sometimes the boldest thing you can do is take the next breath.- One More Step
5. Do your best to keep quiet time with God a priority.
Finding a few moments of peace to pursue God through his word and prayer will strengthen your heart like nothing else can. It’s easy to let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season overtake the priority of spending time alone with God. Use a Bible reading plan as a way to focus and stay accountable. Start a new journal for the Advent season and take just 5 minutes a day to write.
When you feel tired, weak and completely overwhelmed, most of all, remember that as a Christian, you have access to the inexhaustible supply of God’s strength. He will see you through.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
Rachel Wojo, author of One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up