Managing Expectations Around the Holidays

Andrea Wilmer

11/23/21 4:23 PM

Stress is a normal emotion during the holiday season. While most people have hopes of a “perfect holiday,” living up to that expectation can often lead to disappointment. Here are some tips to help manage expectations during this holiday season.

Set realistic expectations. No holiday is perfect and the expectation that it will be is unrealistic. When roadblocks hit, this is a time to use our flexible and resilient mindsets. Often the missteps, “fails,” or unforeseen events that occur are the moments that create the best family memories.

Keep things in perspective. While the holiday season may feel long at times, it is only a few short months of the year. If something goes wrong, remember very soon this season will be behind us. Focus on the good things that have happened and recognize the current stressor will soon pass.

Remember what’s important. While society often focuses on material items around the holidays, relationships and memories are the actual center of the holiday season. Focusing on personal values, beliefs, and priorities will help an individual maintain focus during this season.

Take time for yourself. You may feel pressure to take care of everyone and take on multiple roles. Remember there is only one you and you are only able to accomplish a certain number of things per day. Taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of others. Take just a moment to reflect on aspects of your life that bring you joy and then do them.