For lots of folks the holidays = stress. Reading Prep & Pearls latest blog reminded me of this! For me, the holidays are a time of multi-tasking. Since I am, by nature, a multi-tasker, I love this time of year! You’re probably reading this and giving me a dirty look now! But, it’s true - I like to balance the chaos of being a mom to a newborn & a 2-year-old, wife to a husband who works a full-time job, owner of my own family practice, shopping buddy to my mom, and host of the big party. My secret is to add little bits of fun into the to-do list around the holidays and to try my best not to take any of it too seriously. Here are some ideas to try in order to mix it up this holiday season.
Shop & Stop
My friend, Tuni, and fabulous “Queen Bee” of the Hive in North Kingstown's Lafayette Mills, was just telling me about her weekend trip to the stores. By mixing in brunch and mimosas, local stops at her favorite stores, and a late-day appetizer, she made her typically stressful day into a really fun experience with her better half.
Keep it Local
Malls can be overwhelming at any time of year. Around the holidays, stores can be packed and lines can be long, plus you never quite feel like you can find those deals everyone talks about! So, keep it local. In Wickford, we have an amazing array of local stores where you can feel good about supporting your neighbors while picking up unique finds for friends & family. Find your mom an amazing bracelet at JW Graham, your significant other some massage oil at Beauty & the Bath, and some delicate stationary for your grandma at Different Drummer. Shop - then stop in - at Tate’s or Sonoma Wine Bar for a glass of wine and crab cakes.
Have a Game Plan
Whatever your strategy, it’s good to review it in advance. If you’re cooking a big holiday meal, write down who is bringing what and make sure you have the holes filled in advance. This will save last minute runs to Dave’s during the busiest days of the year. If you have lots of friends and family to buy gifts for, write down your ideas when they pop into your head. And don’t forget to check things off the list – that happens to be my favorite part!
Wracking your brain to come up with the perfect gift? This stresses me out more than anything around the holidays! For some reason, I’ve decided I either have to get something the person will love everyday of their life or I’ve failed. Where this pressure comes from, I’ll never know. If you have the same perseveration, consider gifting charitable donations in your friend’s name (i.e. for you dog-loving friend, donate to the NK Animal Shelter Support Foundation).
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that nothing ever goes as planned! With a newborn and 2 year old, this is more often the case than not. So, my best advice is avoiding stress by avoiding perfection. In the end, the holidays are wonderful because of the time we spend around our closest friends and family. If we don’t find the perfect gifts, or we miss someone on the list; if we forget to take the rolls out of the oven before they burn (a family tradition at my house); if we take a nap instead of arriving early for a party – say it with me – “It’s OK!” Tis the season to enjoy the good things in life and to share love and joy with the ones who matter – let’s not forget that.
And, always remember, that if stress seems to be getting in the way of functioning or you find yourself crying a lot, having trouble sleeping, or not being able to enjoy yourself in the way you typically do – check with your doctor. The holidays can certainly exacerbate or bring on depression for some folks – so make sure to have a doctor you trust and can discuss this with if it does seem like more than a little stress.
Dr. Mark Turshen MD and Dr. Lauren Hedde DO are accepting new patients at their Direct Doctors family practice in North Kingstown (Wickford), Rhode Island. Direct Doctors is an innovative primary care practice emphasizing an improved doctor-patient relationship. Drs. Hedde and Turshen offer 24/7 access, no waiting, same day visits, home visits, and a doctor who knows YOU well! If you are frustrated with “fast-food”, “cookie-cutter” health care, Direct Doctors may be just the prescription for you. Check out the Direct Doctors difference at www.directdoctors.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 401-400-2699.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.