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By Jason Carrozza

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday and Happy Holidays!

We are in full swing until the end of the year and we are soaking up every second during this beautiful holiday season. It’s so easy to rush this time of year with a number of social engagements, wrapping up end-of-year work, family obligations and so on, but it’s important to take time to care for yourself. When dealing with elderly or sick relatives self-care is especially important. The stress of providing care and trying to make things perfect can really take a number on people, so this week let’s focus on self-care.

  1. It’s okay to say “No.” – Caring for ill relatives or dealing with bereavement can be especially difficult during the holidays. Managing expectations during this time of year is hard enough, but add this additional layer of stress and things become complicated very quickly. To top it all off, there are usually family pressures that dictate where, when, and how the holidays are spent. It’s time to redefine “Happy Holidays” and stop allowing others to force their own experience and expectations on you. Your usual holiday traditions may no longer be feasible or they may no longer serve the same purpose, and that’s okay. Create the space to make the holiday that you need for yourself and let go of the guilt.
  2. Take time to manage your own expectations – Sometimes we want to create the perfect holiday scene, but if your holiday season does not live up to your expectations, you can make the choice to not let it affect you negatively. Giving it all you got is good enough. Life isn’t a fairytale, so when your fantasy doesn’t necessarily come to fruition cut yourself some slack. Every person deals with dramas, distractions, death, and illnesses year round. The point is to cherish the time you actually do have and make the most of it instead of being upset with yourself that it didn’t all go according to plan. Plans change. Do what makes you comfortable and when all feels unbearable, take a deep breathe!
  3. Go Hug Your Loved Ones – I received this advice yesterday and it made me smile because it couldn’t be more true. One of the best ways to deal with a hectic holiday season is to slow down and to focus on being present. Strive on a daily basis to appreciate what’s around you and show your affection to those you love. Life is unpredictable. It is uncertain when your time with someone will expire, so seize the moment and let them know how much you care. Show your love and appreciation and I guarantee it won’t matter if you have the right number of matching place settings.

Take these tips and become the master of your own holiday creation. During these stressful times care for yourself and pay attention to what it is that you need. Above all, remember, to breathe!

Until next time,

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.