Tips to Survive the Holiday Season
This time of year can bring a variety of emotions for different people. There are those people who absolutely love this time of year and boast that it is their favorite season of all. However, there are also many people who experience a sense of sadness and loss, or feel lonely and isolated during the holiday season.
It is not unusual for people to feel anxious or depressed during this time of year. There are so many of us that are bombarded with different events such as holiday dinners and parties, family or friend gatherings, and the stress of traveling. The feelings could be worse for those who have lost a loved one, live far away from family or have been through a divorce.
Here are a few tips to help you get through the holidays:
1. Keep your regular routine
Stick to your daily activities, changing your routine could add to additional stress. If you have been walking a mile every day, stick to that. Don’t let situations prevent you from doing your regular routine.
2. Think Moderation
Do not indulge in the treats (carbohydrates) and alcohol. Indulging in these is only a temporary fix to any stress or anxiety you are feeling. Remember, stick to your regular routine and try to incorporate some physical activity. Going for a walk to relieve stress and anxiety is much more satisfying than the cookies and candy.
3. Be realistic, try not to expect the “ideal” holiday
Remember to be realistic about the holidays. Try not to have too high of expectations for when family gathers together. We often get disappointed when situations don’t live up to our high expectations.
4. Stay Connected
Spend time with friends and family who appreciate you. If you need support during this time of year, ask them.
5. Throw guilt out the window
Don’t put an unreasonable amount of pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice or even enjoy the holidays. If you can’t make an event, say no and don’t feel guilty. Give yourself a break.
6. Don’t be alone, if you don’t want to
If you find yourself alone this holiday season, try to volunteer somewhere, like in a soup kitchen, or with children who are in group homes or the elderly in various facilities. Helping others often makes us feel better about ourselves. You will appreciate their company and they will appreciate yours.
7. Focus on today, not yesterday
Sometimes being around family and friends brings us back to our old habits and how we used to be. Remember who you are today and how far you have come in your journey. Walk away if you need to and give yourself a pep-talk. Don’t let others influence you to become who you were in the past.
8. Just say no
It is ok to say no if you are asked to do something that is more than what you are capable of. Remember that this is your holiday too, and that you can decline an invitation or say no to a favor.
9. Ask for help
During the holidays we often try and take on too much and do too much on our own. It’s ok to ask family and friends for help. Whether it be for decorating, shopping, cooking or for support, just ask.
10. Start a new tradition
Instead of having a cookie exchange this year, try doing an ornament exchange with friends, family and co-workers. After dinner, go for a walk and enjoy the people you are with. Starting new traditions is a great way to spend the holidays.
11. Be good to yourself
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, then go and pamper yourself. Do you what YOU want to do and take care of yourself.
Remember, the holidays only come once a year and only last a few weeks. Remember to take care of yourself and you will be able to get through it.