If finding the ideal gift for your partner, family or friends feels like some sort of test, it can be a sign of perfectionism. Bea suggests mentally identifying what the consequences would be if things don’t end up perfect — chances are, they aren’t so bad.
“You can’t screw up giving a gift, if it’s an occasion or a material gift, if it’s coming from your heart you can’t possibly make a mistake,” he said.
According to Carlstrom, it’s important to remember that the perfect present — and the reaction to the thought behind that gift — likely isn’t going to make or break your relationship.
“You can control your intentions as you look for a gift, but you can never control someone’s response to a gift,” she explained.
The same goes for family dynamics. According to Carlstrom, the potential for conflict or negative reactions from loved ones often creates more pressure. The best way to manage those stressors is to face them head on and go into it with an understanding that you’re not alone.
“We have in our minds that during the holidays we need to have the perfect family experience — but all of us have dysfunctions,” she said. “Managing relationships is difficult, especially with people you might only see a few times a year.”
4. Acknowledge the good.