‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year! Happy Holidays to you! Turkey day, football, and family. What more could someone ask for during this great time of year! All of the corniness aside, this time of year is usually looked at by many as being fun, loving, and magical! For many however, this time of year is full of stress, stress, more stress, and for giggles, a little family drama to top it off. I have compiled my essential holiday survival guide to help you get through this holiday season with as little stress, strain, and lost hair as possible.
So without further ado, here comes the Essential Holiday Survival Guide!
- First and foremost you need to get good sleep! This time of year is full of busy shopping days (picture Arnold Schwartzenegger in Jingle All The Way), family get togethers, early mornings, late nights, and lost sleep to clean, shop more, and generally do more! In order to be able to handle all of those activities and stress, you need to make sure you are getting restful sleep each and every night. So when you go to bed, turn off Home Alone, put down Santa’s list, and work on getting a good restful 6-8 hours. Try and do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time night in and night out.
- Put down the white glove when cleaning your house! Sooo many people make their house spotless before the holidays. They spend days prepping their house to make sure that people visiting do not see the chaos that is our lives. My idea is that my house will be clean but not perfect, after all I live there. Believe me, I would love for my house to look like something that Chip and Joanna Gaines just featured in their latest episode of Fixer Upper, but I know that is not possible. I could spend a lot of time cleaning to make sure everything is spotless, and have it cost me a lot emotionally and personally. Or, I could embrace that I am not perfect and my house wont be either, and if someone has a problem with that, do I really want to spend the holidays with them anyway??
- Start your own traditions! The holidays are always seen as the perfect time to dust off Aunt Edna’s china and tell the same rendition of old stories that your uncle has told year in and year out, but this can wear on you after a while! Don’t be afraid to begin to make your own traditions as a family or just as yourself. This may be met with guilt galore from your family or friends, but you need to do what is going to make you happy. So if your family always gets together for Thanksgiving, maybe you make your own Thanksgiving feast for you and your immediate family. Or, maybe with Christmas you take Christmas morning as your own time for you, not anyone else
- Speaking of time for yourself, family get togethers are a part of the holidays just as much as pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce (homemade or from a can is a whole other argument for a different day!). Make sure you set aside time for yourself while with family and friends. This can help to reduce your stress level and help you enjoy the time you are spending with the around you. Taking time for yourself can be as easy as taking a long bathroom trip, running out to the store to pick up something, or just going for a walk. Do not be afraid of setting aside self care time, family will be there when you get back and your sanity will last for just a bit longer that way!
- Exercise! Nothing beats going for a walk or taking a class at your local gym. Not only are you burning off the extra serving of pie, you are doing a great job of reducing anger and depression symptoms. When you are with family and they start to get to you take a step away for a bit and walk, you will feel better and be able to handle more in the long run.
- Offer to help. This can be a good way to get your mind off of family stress and drama and give you a way to distract from what is bothering you. Plus, you are opening the door to creating some lasting holiday memories for years to come!
- Be aware of your alcohol! Alcohol and the holidays go together …well like alcohol and the holidays. We usually turn to alcohol as a way to cope with the stress, anxiety, or depression that often comes with the holidays. This type of “coping” often leads to making those feelings worse and worse, which leads us to reset the holidays even more. So do be aware of your consumption this season, this will lead to a better outcome for you and those around you!
The holidays are tough for people in general, let alone people who may be struggling with loss of a loved one, mental health, or other various life issues. Do yourself a favor and allow those things to go for the time being. Focus on how you can make the most of this holiday season. If you have had bad experiences in the past, find a way to make new and better memories. Take time to remember those who are no longer with us. And most of all, celebrate the season and remember that you have things to be thankful for. If you have other ideas or ways to manage the holidays, please comment below, let me know on Facebook, or send me a message! Have a wonderful holiday season!