Simplify Your Life for the Holidays

Petaluma Family Therapy (707) 772-5085

 – by Kimmy Peterson, MFT –

Simplify: sim·pli·fy; ˈsimpləˌfī/

verb: to make less complicated, clearer, or easier

We are about to head into one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, the holidays. The holiday season can be hectic and demanding both emotional and financially. Take a step back and ask yourself: Is this working for my family, and can I simplify?

Here are some suggestions that can simplify your life while creating more meaning. 

Start with identifying what the holidays truly mean to you.

Decide who you want to invite to spend this time with. How you will spend the time?

Allow yourself to have true intimate connections and create special memories with those who value you and your family.

Stop trying to please everyone around you. Are you saying yes to everything and everyone? This will leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, resentful, and create conflict within your own family.

It’s okay to say “No” or “Next time.” Spending quality time with those you love and not attempting to do it all, will make those around you feel less stressed and more appreciated. Let it be more about the quality of connections than the quantity of connections.

Create a financial plan and stick with it. In this day and age gift giving, traveling, parties, and all those holiday expectations can become expensive. It’s easy to overindulge in this area. Make an ordered list of your most important expense to your least important expense. Stick with the budget and ditch the things that won’t matter in the long run.

Think back to your holiday memories. Was it about the gifts, or the people and time spent together. People remember more about spending time and the memories those times created with loved ones than the gift they did or didn’t get.

Change it up and create a new tradition. If you have a family tradition that isn’t working for your family, then adjust. Devise a new plan. Life is all about fluidity and being able to adapt and adjust according to your needs. Making new memories and spending time with one another is what is important.

Create realistic expectations and verbalize those expectations. This will allow you to have your needs met and meet the needs of others around you. It will alleviate disappointment, anger, and feelings of resentment.

Ask for support and help. The holidays are not a happy and joyful time for everyone. This time of year can be difficult for many people. If you know that this will be a difficult time of year, make time to get the emotional support you need. Be aware of those around you who might be struggling and provide them with additional support and love.