5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays
It’s a magical time of year right? Well, it can be, if we manage our expectations and to do lists! For some, spending time with family is a highlight of the holiday season, while for others this creates undue stress and anxiety. What do we do with that anxiety? How do we fit in self-care at a time of year that is jam packed with events, activities and obligations big and small?
First, decide what you want your holiday to look like. Do you enjoy spending time with friends and family, would you rather stay home? Is it necessary to buy gifts for everyone you know, or can you scale it back? What fills you up this time of year? Are you able to stick to your routine in the chaos that begins the day before Thanksgiving, and ends on January 2nd? Does your holiday vision fit with the vision of your partner? Are there things you have to do, or do you just feel you have to do them? Once you have a better grasp of your ideal holiday, find ways to stick to your plan, and enjoy!
If that doesn’t work, here are some survival tips that may help!
1. Take time to breathe! Whether you meditate before bed, take a few moments in the morning with your coffee, or snag five minutes at lunch, breathe! Taking deep breaths from your belly, making sure to exhale all the way can calm an overactive mind and leave you feeling more centered. Five minutes can make a difference!
2. Do something for you! Making it to your exercise class, going to see Christmas lights, catching up with friends, or taking a day to watch Netflix and do nothing-just make sure you have a piece of you in the holiday craziness. Be in the moment when you can, and enjoy it!
3. Say no when you can, and don’t feel guilty about it! There are so many expectations this time of year, and it is impossible to meet them all. Even if you feel pressured to do certain family, work or friend obligations, try to make space to say no to “extras” when possible. I get it, there are some functions you have to go to, so go, and try to have fun! Are there things you can delegate to take off your to do list? Are there school, work, family, friend commitments that can be scaled down? Do you have to do a cookie swap simply because “you’ve always done it?” Figure out where to say no, and don’t let guilt trick you into saying yes!
4. Slow down, enjoy, and don’t start planning your resolutions yet! Try to be present in the place you are, with the people you are with. Find moments for gratitude, no matter how small. It may be that you’re grateful for hot coffee, or if might be that you’re grateful you took a day off to cross some to-do’s off your list. Doesn’t have to be a big thing to pause and have gratitude and to practice some mindfulness. Enjoy where you are, and worry about new year, new you ideals in a month, or not at all!
5. If you want to have a crazy busy holiday season, go for it! If that fuels you, if you love it, and look forward to it, then go all in! Just make sure you come up for air, and take care of yourself so you’re not too exhausted come January!