10 Things *Not* to Do This Holiday Season

Your December anti-bucket list.

It’s about to be the holiday season, and let us take a guess about your mindset. Our powers to see into your brain might really surprise you. Ready?

You feel like your to-do list is a mile long.

See? We know you. 

But, here’s the thing: you don’t have to do it all. In fact, there are plenty of things that you should actually be trying not to do during this unique time. Take, for example, these ten activities. Strike them from your plans for the rest of the year. Trust us — it will make for a better season.

1. Say “yes” to everything. Sure, you should grab every possible opportunity to enjoy the season… but only if it feels good and isn’t overwhelming. As soon as your schedule becomes so booked that you can’t slow down and soak in the festivities, you should feel totally entitled to sit out this happy hour or that potluck dinner. You may be free to attend every event, but that doesn’t mean you’re required to show up to every event. Take control of your holiday agenda!

2. Count your calories. Are we saying you gobble up every last cookie at the company party or go back to the buffet for a fourth or fifth serving at all of your family gatherings? No. But we are saying that balance is important, and that constantly obsessing over what you put in your mouth from now until Jan. 1 is actually the opposite of healthy. Keep most of your meals nutritious, then feel free to indulge without worry as the season rolls on.

3. Get stressed about new year’s resolutions. It’s great to set goals, but don’t waste the final weeks of the year worrying about how you’re going to respond to the all-too-pervasive question “what are your new year’s resolutions?” come 2019. There are plenty of experts out there who would tell you that establishing a specific resolution is going to set you up for failure, anyway (that’s a subject for another day) — but even if you’re a fan of this kind of goal-setting, it can wait until after you’ve soaked in the holiday celebrations.

4. Stray too far from the routine. As much as you can, stick to a regular bedtime, drink lots of water, and create blocks in your schedule for exercise and rest. When you maximize these routines, the moments when you go off track will be that much sweeter.

5. Feel guilty. No one — not your mom, not your best friend — should have the power to make you feel crummy, or to make you question whether or not your efforts to do right by others at this time of year are enough. Tensions and emotions run high during the holidays, but if you feel a tinge of guilt creeping in, try to remove yourself from the situation, take some deep breaths, and remember how awesome you are. And maybe have a cocktail, too.

6. Let time with loved ones pass you by. Now is the time to really focus on friends and family. When else over the course of the year do you have so many opportunities to hang out together? Don’t spend that valuable time arguing, stewing over old frustrations, or simply being distracted. It’s not worth it!

7. Aim for perfection. Your gift wrap is never going to look as neat as what you see in holiday ads. You’re probably not going to be able to find the ultimate gift for every last person on your list. Your house isn’t going to be spotless when you’re hosting the family for dinner. The holiday outings you plan with your kids aren’t all going to be as magical as you imagined. And you know what? It’s fiiiiine. Perfect doesn’t exist — not even during the most wonderful time of the year.

8. Stare at your phone. Most of us are are always trying to ease up on our screen addiction, but there’s no time like the holidays to really buckle down. Set some clear boundaries with your phone over the next few weeks so that you don’t spend the whole season getting keyed up over emails or comparing yourself to the people you follow on Instagram. Your phone will still be there when you’re done mingling with your loved ones, baking a pie, or watching your favorite specials on TV.

9. Put up with bad vibes. Don’t let the holiday haters bring you down. Do your best to keep a healthy distance from people in your circle who are going to kill your holiday spirit.

10. Get caught up in the chaos. There can be something exciting about the hustle and bustle of December, but if you allow yourself to get too lost in the shuffle, you may lose sight of what’s most important. Focus on loved ones, good times, delicious food, and reflecting on all the great things that have happened over the course of the year. It’s way more fun that way!

What are you most excited about this holiday season? Tell us on Facebook + Twitter!

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Featured image: Victoria Heath/Unsplash; dinner image: Kelsey Chance/Unsplash

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