‘Tis the season for all things joyful: the intoxicating smell of freshly baked goodies, the bright and shiny decorations crafted by the best DIY-er (you, of course) and the pleasant comfort of friends and family. But if you consider yourself a perfectionist, or the holidays bring out your perfectionism, you might not be feeling so holly jolly. We tapped Dr. Michael Brustein, PsyD., for insight on how the control-lovers among us (#guilty) can enjoy this time of year.
Holiday Tips for Perfectionists
1. Stay organized, but don’t overdo it. Staying organized is a great trait to have, but when you schedule yourself with back-to-back events with little room to spare, you’re bound to run into trouble. Go ahead and keep your lists of tasks, but don’t be afraid to assign a responsibility or two to someone else — they can handle it!
2. Stop over-thinking everything. According to Dr. Michael Brustein, socially oriented perfectionists over-stress about getting the perfect gift for their friends and the “anxiety of finding the perfect gift can leave them feeling anxious and resentful.” Instead of stressing, remember that no matter what you choose, your loved ones will appreciate the thought that went into it.
3. Stick to simple. Sure, it’s the holidays and you want everyone to be happy, but the more you try to please everyone, the more likely you are be disappointed when things don’t pan out exactly how you want them to. Take a break from RSVPing to EVERY event and make sure to build in some much-needed time for recharging. Your friends will understand.
4. Try something new. Instead of worrying about whether traditions are done perfectly, try experimenting with new holiday traditions. It can be as simple as trying new sugar cookie recipes or decorating methods. Whatever you choose, focus on how you’re challenging yourself, and celebrate your accomplishments.
5. Take time to think positively. Okay, so the sugar cookies may have tasted a little salty and your sibs didn’t commit to the color theme that you planned for family photos, but that’s not what the holidays are about. Rather than exerting your energy on getting annoyed, spend some time reflecting on gratitude. Staying positive will make your overall experience so much better.
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