So we are off today with our list of things we hope to accomplish by year’s end! Buy some groceries for a special meal, some last minute packages to prepare for the mail, and some treats for a get together with neighbors! Does this sound like something that you are doing just about now?! But what can you do about all of the other expectations which appear to be on your shoulders?
Most of us today are so involved in the lives of so many people—children, parents, work associates, friends, and spouses. As a result, there are multiple expectations for a successful holiday. But who is putting these enormous pressures on us anyway? It could be all of the above; the teachers, children, other relatives yes; or is it simply ourselves?! How can you meet these needs and at the same time, keep a little bit for yourself?!
According to family therapists, like Jan Kwiatkowski, MS, LMFT, we all have high hopes for the holidays and coming new year. Seems reasonable! If you add these to expectations at work, school, and from friends or family, the list can become very long and the hopes very high! Whether they are our expectations or those of others, having some reasonable plans for what we can realistically accomplish will save us a lot of disappointment.
Here are some good suggestions for managing expectations:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Ask for assistance from others around you, chances are they will enjoy the time with you
- Plan your trips out for shopping and save time
- Look for time-saving methods of preparing meals
- Avoid trips through the fast food restaurants, because you lost track of time and are hungry
- Beat your stress with a group exercise class
- Reserve time for yourself with a healthy drink at the end of the day—tea, cider or the like
- Accept the consequences of anything that does not go well, as you did the best you could
- Connect with friends and family you normally do not have a chance to talk to
Lastly, make a conscious decision to create the feeling of wonder and excitement with all those that you meet and come in contact with this holiday season. This period of time is short and should be enjoyed by all, especially you!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation