Perfectly Stressful Holidays | Girlfriend Advice for Joy from Elizabeth Patch

Elizabeth Patch Body Image guru girlfriend guruAre you, like many of us, running around trying to get EVERYTHING done in time for the holidays? Or, like some of us, have you simply decided not to have anyone over to your home because it is Just Too Much?

Meet Elizabeth Patch, our Girlfriend Guru of Body Image. Elizabeth reminds us that the holidays are not about who has the most gifts or the most perfectly decorated living room. This time of year is about sharing friends and family no matter how lavish or tattered the surroundings.

So take a minute or two, girlfriend, take a deep breath, read Elizabeth’s wonderful words, and think about ways to truly enjoy the best the season has to offer.

Must buy the perfect gift!

Must bake the perfect cookies!

Must have the perfect decorations!

Must fit into the perfect holiday dress!

Must find the perfect shoes to go with the perfect dress!

Must clean my house until it is perfectly spotless!

But girlfriends,

perfection is not only impossible to achieve,

it’s exhausting!

Maybe the holidays need a little less perfectionism, and a lot more joy!Body Image Girlfriend Guru Holiday Joy

Joy doesn’t need much work to be achieved.

Joy simply finds its way into life when you let go of the need to be perfect.

Joy happens when you can laugh instead of apologize,

accept instead of reject, show compassion instead of criticism.

Can’t fit into a slinky sparkly dress?

Allow yourself to have a fabulous time no matter what size your party dress is!

Home looking a bit shabby?

Fill your home with friends, family, and laughter to create true holiday joy!

No time to bake, sew, or craft gifts for those you love?

Remember that your friends and family already know you love them!

Can’t afford the gifts that your children are begging for?

The greatest gifts are the happy memories you create spending time together.

(ask any adult: happy childhood memories are rarely about the gifts!)

Yes, an excellent meal with the perfect bottle of wine, beautiful decorations, and lovely gifts contribute to a good time, bring pleasure, and create fond memories.

But in the end, having the perfect holidays is not really about the superficial stuff you are stressing about.

It’s about the joy you experience in your heart as you share with those you love.

Wishing you much joy this holiday season!

ELIZABETH PATCH’s story is simple and touching: a high school art teacher who struggled with eating disorders, she watched in vain as a favorite student died from anorexia. Her sketchbook journals evolved into “More to Love,” an illustrated book about body image and self-esteem. Elizabeth believes that loving one’s body, no matter what size or shape, encourages positive choices for a healthier, happier life! “Women should be measured by the lives we lead, not by the size we wear!”

Elizabeth Patch is the author and illustrator of More to Love. Her inspirational writing style and adorable illustrations take a light-hearted look at the serious issues of body image and self-esteem for women of all sizes.

So girlfriend, what are your ideas for letting go of the stress and bringing holiday joy into your life?

Check out Elizabeth’s other inspiring posts – Girl talk conversations with ourselves and Holiday Craziness and Body Image Advice.

And, by the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

* For those of us who may struggle with food cravings or emotional eating, here’s some good girlfriend advice: Understanding Food Cravings, Emotional and Binge Eating – Girlfriend advice, Emotional Eating and Friendship and an Interview on Emotional Eating.


  1. says

    Joy happens when you can laugh instead of apologize. This is something I’m going to keep in mind. I have a habit of apologizing for the messiness of my house whenever someone comes over (unless the house is spotless, which isn’t a healthy standard to hold myself to). Thank you for encouraging us toward embracing joy rather than perfection! :)

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