In through the nose, Virgo. Take the time to smell all the sweet things around you. The holidays stress you out in particular because of your unrealistic expectations. You hold yourself and others to such high standards that when the slightest thing deviates from your abundantly detailed plans, you automatically jump to the conclusion that everything is ruined. The more you try to control, the less you ultimately will, and instead of trying to protect yourself through overpreparation, you will benefit by learning to accept and honor your own feelings, as they occur in any given moment. You’re allowed to be sad or disappointed, but that doesn’t mean you’re not also allowed to laugh at the absurdity of your burnt pie or your snagged sweater. You can feel more than one thing at the same time. Regret and nostalgia, annoyance and appreciation. Life is full of shade and nuance, and the holidays are no exception.
Just focus on taking one breath at a time, Scorpio, because you have to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. You love your family more than anything and put enormous pressure on yourself to make sure everyone is happy, but the thing about people-pleasing is that everyone is so different, and it’s impossible to meet everyone’s needs at once. Some people like thin gravy and some people like thick. When that happens, it’s impossible to make one that meets everyone’s preferences, and there’s not enough time in the day to make everyone their own individual portion just the way they want. So do your best, and don’t take it personally if anyone bickers, someone is cranky, or you aren’t as peppy as you would like to be. You have no ability to control others’ emotions, and your own stress is not a sign of weakness.
It’s time to inhale, Capricorn, and put that out-of-office notice on. You’ve been working so hard every day this year—you’ve earned this holiday break whether you realize it or not. You’re acutely aware of your own professional challenges and the larger economic factors at play, and we all know you’ve been diligently saving every penny you can. It can be overwhelming to tackle how expensive the holidays can be, especially when you are constantly worrying about work at the same time. It’s okay to make a budget that fits your needs. A handmade card can make your family and friends feel just as loved as an expensive gift, and more than anything else, all your loved ones want is time with you and your undivided attention. So take this time to close your laptop and ask family members the things you’ve always wanted to know about them.
Expand those lungs to their fullest capacity, Libra. The holidays are all about excess and exist in their own little wormhole of reality. This isn’t the time to worry about your diet or your routine or anything else you regularly schedule or regiment throughout the year. It’s not a tragedy if you have to unbutton your pants, replenish your savings account, or catch up on errands along the way. The older we get, the less time we have with friends and family. Parents we lived with or friends we saw every day at school are still the ones we love most, but these special occasions and seasons hold more weight because it’s usually the time everyone is guaranteed to be together. So if you have to let up on your usual rigidity to sit back and relax, so be it. It will all be there for you to attend to once the holidays are over.