There’s a clear distinction between those of us who find the festive season stressful and chaotic, and those who seem to navigate it with a calmness that feels almost inhuman.
That difference? Patience.
Those who’ve mastered the art of patience during this hectic time are often the ones who seem to enjoy it the most.
They’re not just stoic on the surface, either. These patient holiday-goers have habits that keep them cool and collected while the rest of us are tearing our hair out.
So, what are these habits?
Stick with me as I share nine habits that people who have mastered the art of patience during the festive season usually have.
1) They start early
If there’s one habit that sets patient holiday-goers apart from the rest, it’s this. They start preparing for the festive season well in advance.
Why does this matter? Because it takes off the pressure. From buying gifts to planning meals and decorations, they spread out these tasks over weeks or even months. This means that they’re not cramming everything into a few chaotic days.
By the time the festive season rolls around, they’re ready. They’ve done their prep work, and now they can relax and enjoy the festivities without the stress of last-minute scrambling.
Starting early may seem like a simple habit, but it’s a powerful way to cultivate patience during the festive season. And best of all? It’s something anyone can incorporate into their own holiday preparations.
2) They embrace imperfection
This is a big one for me personally. I used to stress over every little detail during the festive season. From the perfect tree decorations to the perfectly set dinner table, I wanted everything to be just so.
But then I realized something. My quest for perfection was robbing me of my enjoyment of the season. The stress and pressure were simply not worth it.
So, I made a conscious decision to embrace imperfection. My tree may not look like it’s straight out of a magazine, and my dinner table may not be Instagram-worthy, but that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s liberating.
Embracing imperfection allows me, and others who’ve mastered the art of patience, to enjoy the festive season for what it truly is – a time for joy, relaxation, and spending time with loved ones.
By letting go of unrealistic expectations, we can fully immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit without unnecessary stress.
3) They practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is no longer just a buzzword tossed around in wellness circles. There’s compelling scientific evidence supporting its benefits.
For instance, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that mindfulness can actually decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
During the festive season, those who have mastered patience often practice mindfulness to stay grounded amidst the chaos. Instead of getting swept up in the frenzy of shopping, cooking, and decorating, they take time to be present and enjoy the moment.
This could be as simple as savoring a cup of hot cocoa, admiring the twinkling lights on the tree, or enjoying the company of loved ones. By practicing mindfulness, they not only reduce stress but also enhance their enjoyment of the season.
4) They delegate tasks
Patience is often linked to a sense of control. When we feel overwhelmed, our patience tends to wear thin. That’s why those who handle the festive season with grace and patience don’t try to do it all themselves.
They delegate tasks. If they’re hosting a holiday dinner, for example, they might ask guests to bring a dish. Or, they get the whole family involved in decorating the tree or wrapping gifts.
Sharing the responsibilities lightens the load and reduces stress. Plus, it’s a great way to bring everyone together and create shared memories of the festive season. This is one of those habits that not only contributes to patience but also enhances the overall holiday experience.
5) They take care of themselves
During the festive season, it’s easy to get so caught up in taking care of everything and everyone else that we neglect our own needs. But those who have mastered the art of patience know that self-care is crucial.
They make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and stay hydrated. They also carve out time for exercise or other activities that help them relax and recharge, whether it’s yoga, reading, or a quiet walk.
Taking care of themselves enables them to handle holiday stress better and maintain their patience even when things get hectic. It’s a reminder that self-care isn’t selfish—it’s a necessity, especially during busy times like the festive season.
6) They focus on what truly matters
Amidst the glitter and glamour of the festive season, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. But those with the patience to navigate this time with grace never lose sight of this.
For them, the festive season isn’t about having the most lavishly decorated home or the most extravagant gifts. Instead, it’s about spending quality time with loved ones, creating memories, and sharing joy and warmth.
They understand that at the end of the day, it’s not about material things but about the love and companionship we share. This heartfelt understanding allows them to stay patient and calm, even in the midst of holiday chaos.
They know that these moments of connection are what make the season truly special.
7) They don’t sweat the small stuff
I remember a time when a burnt batch of holiday cookies would send me into a tailspin. I’d stress about it for hours, lamenting my mistake and worrying about what people would think.
But over time, I’ve learned that these small missteps don’t really matter. So the cookies are burnt – so what? There’s more to the festive season than picture-perfect pastries.
Now, I laugh off these little hiccups. I’ve realized that they’re not worth the stress and anxiety. And in doing so, I’ve discovered one of the key habits of those who navigate the festive season with patience: they don’t sweat the small stuff.
They understand that things won’t always go as planned. And when they don’t, they take it in stride, keeping their focus on the big picture rather than getting caught up in minor mishaps.
8) They set realistic expectations
Setting sky-high expectations for the festive season can be a recipe for stress and disappointment. That’s why those who’ve mastered the art of patience during this time set realistic expectations.
They understand that not every moment has to be filled with holiday magic, and that it’s okay to have downtime. They know that not every meal needs to be a gourmet feast, and that simple, home-cooked food can be just as enjoyable.
By setting realistic expectations, they avoid the disappointment that comes with unmet high expectations. This helps them stay patient and calm, even when things don’t go exactly as planned. It’s a valuable habit that can make the festive season much more enjoyable.
9) They practice gratitude
At the heart of a patient approach to the festive season is a deep sense of gratitude. Those who navigate this time with grace and calmness know the value of appreciating what they have.
They’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate, for the company of loved ones, and even for the challenges that come with the season. This gratitude helps them stay patient and centered, no matter how hectic things get.
Practicing gratitude isn’t just a habit—it’s a mindset. And it’s one that can transform not only your experience of the festive season but also your everyday life.
Final thoughts: It’s all about perspective
The essence of patience, especially during the festive season, is deeply intertwined with our outlook on life.
It’s about finding joy in the journey, not just the destination. It’s about valuing experiences over things, connections over perfection. It’s about understanding that stress and chaos are often self-imposed, and that we have the power to choose a different path.
And while these habits can help cultivate patience during the festive season, they’re not exclusive to this time of year. They’re practices that can enhance our lives year-round, bringing us more peace, fulfillment, and yes, patience.
So as you navigate the festive season – and life in general – remember this: patience isn’t just about waiting. It’s about how we wait, and the mindset we bring to that waiting. It’s about choosing calmness over chaos, gratitude over grumbling, and love over stress.
And it’s a choice we can make every day, in every moment. That’s the real art of patience!
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