Keeping It Together for the Holidays
By Donna Stark
You may be experiencing a million feelings heading into the holiday season but rest assured, you are not alone! From the stress that comes with hosting holiday parties and dinners, to the excitement that comes with decorating the house and visiting loved ones, to the shock and sadness that comes with the realization that the end of the year is weeks away, it's easy to see why so many of us are finding it difficult to keep it all together. The holiday season can certainly bring a mixed bag of emotions, can't it?
Surviving the Holidays
The holiday season isn't the only thing in full swing ... our emotions are too! But how do we move forward so we can get through the next several weeks with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts? Here are some suggestions.
- Routines - Keep your routine as regular as possible, even when traveling! A change in schedule already creates added stress, so do your best to maintain consistency. Exercise at your usual time, stick to your normal diet, go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time in the mornings.
- Expectations - The "Hallmark" version of a holiday get together is rare, so be realistic and try not to expect the perfect, Instagram-worthy vacation. Take it for what it is and make the best out of every situation.
- Connections - Spend time with those you love, whether it be friends or family. And if your loved ones don't live near you, take the time to go see them if you can, or at the very least, connect with them over the phone.
- Guilt - Give yourself a break. If buy a duplicate gift, if you forget the egg nog, or if you just can't muster the feelings of joy on a particular day, it's OK. Stop putting unreasonable pressure on yourself.
- Volunteer opportunities - If you anticipate spending the holidays on your own, and would rather not be alone, look for local organizations where you can volunteer. Places like soup kitchens and senior citizen facilities are oftentimes looking for an extra smile.
- Personal time - Make time for yourself, even if that means saying no. It's perfectly OK to decline invitations and to say no to those who are asking for favors. Remember, it is your holiday too!
Ending the Year on a Good Note
The major holiday season comes once a year and only lasts for a few weeks, but it can definitely throw you for a loop! It's important to be kind to yourself and to those around you. Don't be afraid to ask for help and when you can, help others. It's the perfect way to end the year happy, joyful, and less stressed!
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