Holiday survival may sound harsh but the silly season poses some challenges as well as positives. When people talk about the holiday season they often refer to it with excitement and nostalgia. There is all the focus on having the warm moments with the extended family, dinners shared with friends and positive reflections on a year well spent. Unfortunately, this does not tell the whole story. There is also the frantic rush to find the perfect gift, the stress of preparing to host a party, and awkward interactions with family you are estranged from for a reason. It can also be a sad time for many as they reflect on the losses of the past year. Here are a few tips to help stay positive as we wrap up the year.
- Give yourself permission to celebrate your accomplishments however humble or grand.
- Be grateful for the people who share your journey with you.
- Indulge mindfully. There may be treats you only eat / drink during the holidays. But you don’t need to have all of them at each of the 10 holiday parties you attend.
- When reflecting on the year that just past make sure to look for the positives even if it has felt like a tough year.
- Take time for yourself. Carve out time to relax and recharge away from the noise and commotion.
- If you are away from home and can’t participate in activities as you have in the past create a new tradition. Remember old traditions were once new traditions.
- Don’t completely abandon your fitness routine. If you don’t have one maybe you can take advantage of some of the down time to try a new activity.
- Budget your expenses so fun now doesn’t create problems in the New Year. This may be the time of the year that you expect to spend more on food, travel, gifts etc. That is great. However, you can avoid the stress of big bills later if you plan for most of the extras.
- Lean in on your support system. If you are feeling lonely or a bit shaky emotionally try reaching out to those in your inner circle. Despite all the talk about parties, dinners etc. the reality is there are some people who find this time of year especially lonely whether or not they are on the guest list.
- Double up on the amount of patience you show others. Yes, that driver may have cut you off in traffic. That very well may be a feral child in the check out line at the shops. You may only see your uncle who tells inappropriate jokes once a year by choice. However, you getting wound up and upset impacts you not them.
Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays.~ John Clayton