Holiday stress often comes from rigid expectations and fear of criticism. Rigidly holding traditions, wanting to make a good impression, and getting over-ambitious with what we take on (and then not letting it go when it is very clearly too much…) can become a negative voice in our heads that takes over. It pushes us to be anxious, irritable, passive aggressive, and stressed out.
Even though it is almost the end of November, Houston is still savoring the Astros World Series win, and perhaps their spirit can help us keep our eyes on joy this holiday season. After the epic Game 5 win, Alex Bregman described perfectly their approach: “Have fun, play loose.” The Astros always did best when they were having fun. You always knew they would win if Altuve was smiling.
Holidays may come with all the stress and pressure of a World Series, but if the Astros can take on the pressure of big money teams, if they can have fun, play loose, and win like they did, then that gives me hope for the rest of us.
This Thanksgiving, embrace the spirit of traditions rather than the precision of them. Enjoy being with company more than trying to impress or serve them. Let go of the “shoulds” and expectations that come from others and yourself. Don’t let stress get between you and your loved ones.
Allow for imperfections, roll with it. Allow for forgotten sides and burnt pie crusts; there will still be plenty of food. Be curious about new and distant family or friends, and allow them to be imperfect, too.
Have fun, play loose, and enjoy the holidays. Go ‘Stros!