Here we are, at the apex of the yearly roller coaster, prepared to plunge head first into the madness of the holiday season. Some years, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s feel more like anxiety-inducing occasions than celebrations.
Social pressure and our own needlessly high standards have caused us to be overly concerned with getting things “perfect.” But, once we realize how the anticipation of the holidays has a detrimental impact on the actual holiday experience, we can let go of perfection and immerse ourselves in the fun.
Not sure where to begin? Here are 7 strategies for staying calm over the holiday season:
1. Get some perspective
Take a deep breath and evaluate what the holidays are actually about before you get into high gear. It may seem as though parties, sweets, and gifts are the only things that keep you going through the holidays, but remember what really matters: friends, family, kindness, and, who are we kidding, delicious food.
2. Stick to a routine
Even during the typically decadent holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, keeping things running smoothly and sticking to some form of routine may be your saving grace.
3. Prioritize your sleep
During the holidays, everyone gets into the habit of staying up late trying to get everything done. However, the best thing you can do is get a full night’s sleep and finish any unfinished work in the morning. When you wake up, that never-ending list of to-dos is there, and you’re much more equipped to confront it.
4. Don’t drink too much
I know, I know, but I’m not suggesting that you prohibit all alcoholic beverages; rather, you should be aware of your limitations. Alcohol is a depressive, which means it not only affects your sleep but also has a negative impact on your body and brain the next day. Choose which events you believe are deserving of a drink ahead of time, and drink wisely.
5. Remember to be grateful
It sounds like a cliché but when you stay in a grateful mindset, every incident becomes an opportunity rather than a burden. So much of life happens in our heads, and if we can change our ideas to be more positive.
6. Recognize the irrationality
No matter how Zen we try to be, the holidays can’t help but make us nuts. And that’s so normal. Recognize the mess, confide in a friend, cry it out if necessary, and then restart your life.
7. When everything else fails, go into hiding
Although it may appear foolish, hiding is a great coping mechanisms. We’re not talking about a week-long getaway to a private island but more like taking a minute to ourselves somewhere in the house, away from everyone. The holidays can be overwhelming, so sneaking away for a few minutes can provide a welcome reprieve.
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