Last week I posted a few ideas I use to help cope with holiday stress, especially as someone with anxiety (you can find that post here).
One of the things that I mentioned was visiting Frederik Meijer Gardens earlier in the week as one way I give myself some alone time in preparation for the busyness of the holidays. I wanted to highlight one of my favorite events that the gardens puts on, and that is it’s annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibit.
Every year, the inside of Frederik Meijer Gardens gets decorated with gorgeous trees, all decked out in ornaments and trinkets particular to a certain country or region.
They also decorate outdoors with tons of lights, and the tropical conservatory is filled with poinsettias and even more lights. The conservatory is especially nice to visit after you’ve been for a walk on the outdoor paths and boardwalks to give you a chance to warm up.
Frederik Meijer Gardens is a great place anytime of the year, with a sell out summer concert series that draws big name acts every year, to their Butterflies are Blooming exhibit,outdoor sculpture park, and now the addition of their beautiful Japanese garden and tea house. They have event spaces, a cafe with decently priced soups, salads, and sandwiches, a gift shop with unique pieces, and a library with references on botany and horticulture.
The admission price can be a bit steep at $12 for an adult, but I would highly recommend the membership. Besides the free admission, being a member comes with perks like discounts on classes offered, and members only parties and events including concerts, and presales to the summer concerts. After only a few visits, the membership pays for itself.
This is truly one of my favorites spots in Grand Rapids, and the trees are always a highlight for me which is why I chose this as my way to relax and have some alone time before Thanksgiving.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope you had a relaxing time with your loved ones. This year we decided to go to both families since we hadn’t seen either side in a while. We started off the day at my in-laws and left after dinner to visit my family for dessert. The day was long, as expected, and went relatively smoothly. I have an unfortunate habit of getting headaches at family get togethers. Most likely a result of all of the noise and commotion, extra and different foods, as well as the general stress of the day, but so far nothing that completely ruins the day.
I was able to use my tips I provided in my last post and schedule a break before the holiday and then leave when I knew I had had enough and I needed to get home and rest. Obviously I don’t have a perfect system, but it’s better than what it was before and it’s a work in progress.
I was able to get some much needed relaxation in the rest of the weekend, which helped tremendously. Friday we put up our Christmas tree and decorated it. Saturday, I went over to my dad’s house and helped him do the same, and Sunday was a day of rest and preparation for the week.
You’ll notice I didn’t make a single mention of Black Friday shopping or Small Business Saturday. While I do sometimes feel like I’m missing out on things because of my crazy work schedule and my anxiety, I know that I’m ultimately doing what’s best for me, and that means avoiding crazy crowds and not forcing myself to get out and shop just because everyone is telling me to do so. I love supporting small local businesses and felt a twinge of guilt at not getting out there, but I know that I shop those stores year round and that’s how I have to do it to take care of myself. I’m sure they understand. 🙂
Besides, let’s be real, today as Cyber Monday was totally invented for anxious introverts like you and me! 😉 Happy shopping, or relaxing, or whatever you’re choosing to do today!
PS – I’m teaching myself how to play piano using this book. Am I crazy? Maybe.