I know that I’m not alone in feeling that as lovely and magical as the holiday season is, that it’s kind of sad that we need tips to survive the holidays! Let’s face it, this season also brings with it more stress than many of us wish for.
We’re already familiar with the impact of stress on our health and the negative long term implications for our well being so in this post, let’s look at 4 tips to help us survive the holidays so that it’s as merry as can be.
Here’s How to Survive the Holidays
1. Take Some Time Out
Whether it’s a spin class or yoga, a power nap or an afternoon in with a mug of hot tea and a good book, let this be JUST FOR YOU. Allow yourself time to rest and recharge so that you can tackle all things on your list with more calm, energy and enjoyment.
2. Eat Well
I know I’m not alone when I say that my diet suffers terribly during the holidays. This food focused season filled with an overload of sugar, cheese and alcohol makes eating well challenging for even those of us who are good most of the year. The best advice here is to try not to overdo it.
Eat the cookies, enjoy that cocktail and the sumptuous buffet. The key is to try to do this in moderation (easier said than done, I know). But regardless what happens, don’t beat yourself up. The holidays will soon be a distant memory and you’ll soon be able to focus on food that nourish your body again.
3. Manage Social Obligations
Dinners with relatives, drinks with friends and business functions – all can be enjoyable, but when they’re packed into a short time frame, they can be both mentally and physically exhausting. While many social gatherings are unavoidable, if you’re worn out or too tired, it’s OK to decline the invitation.
You can also opt to leave early, after popping in for a drink and to say hello. Your mental well-being is the most important thing here and good friends will understand.
4. Simplify Shopping
There is nothing more stressful than trying to come up with gift ideas that show you really care. EXCEPT, fighting your way through the throngs of holiday shoppers trying to do same thing as you. Does anyone really need another scarf or centerpiece bowl? Unless you know that someone is really coveting something, simplify gift giving.
Opt for gifts of food (a favourite bottle of wine, spices, condiments), which are always well received. Activities, including a dinner out or in, a movie night or drinks out with your most special people are sure to be appreciated more than a material thing.
Why is Self Care Important During the Holidays?
The holidays are meant to be a special time, enjoyed with those you love and focusing on celebratory foods and activities. But, those things don’t happen by themselves. Behind the scenes, someone is up till midnight baking cookies, wrapping presents or decorating the house.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that I was the cause of much of the stress I felt during the holidays. My family didn’t care about the perfectly decorated tree, the home baked everything or the presents that were wrapped just so. I’d read too many magazines and blogs and followed too many influencers who made me feel like I was letting everyone down. Yes, there’s work involved, but nothing has to be PERFECT.
Outsource, do less and do without so that you can enjoy the season as well. Your sanity—and your health—are more important than trying to keep up with unrealistic expectations. Your friends and family (those that really matter) care most about YOU. Focus on that rather than all the extra stuff that doesn’t bring much happiness to anyone.
Indulge in a bit of self care so that you not only survive, but enjoy the holidays that you worked so hard to make special.