A Survival Guide for the Holidays
The holidays are upon us and it’s a time to have festive parties, family gatherings and tons of food and merriment. However, sometimes you feel overwhelmed and stressed during the holidays, resulting in feelings of sadness, anxiety and even depression. There are many reasons why this happens. First and foremost is that you may just be exhausted from all the planning, preparing, and family tension that sometimes increase during this time of year.
To reduce your stress during and around the holiday season, be aware of the following:
- Your holiday does not have to be based on the Hollywood image of perfection. Be sure your expectations are realistic and be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do during the season. Remember to keep your sense of humor.
- Host celebrations at your home so you can invite who you want and avoid the people who are most difficult.
- If you have lost relatives or friends, this can contribute to your sadness as the memories may be difficult to bear. Holiday time is associated with family togetherness. If the dynamic of your family changed because of strained relations, fragmentation, or death, you may have to create a new tradition that will redefine your family shared time and give you new, more positive memories.
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get everybody to help by breaking down the tasks so that things become more manageable for you.
- If things become too taxing, spend some time alone. You need to revitalize and recharge, so give yourself a break and some quiet time. Escape to a room, take a bike ride, or walk around the neighborhood. Whatever you do, you’re doing it because it will make a significant difference in your outlook when you return.
- Don’t strap yourself financially. Spend within your means and if that translates into buying less, do so for your own peace of mind.
Holidays are a traditional time of mixed emotions. Know that your emotions will vary and that it is normal. It’s all about your attitude, so take care of yourself. The key is to recognize that you are responsible for your happy holiday mood so get out there, celebrate and enjoy the spirit of the season.
Written By: Amy Sherman
About the Author:
Amy Sherman is an author, Relationship Coach, Therapist and the founder of the Baby Boomers’ Network, a website dedicated to helping boomers transition through midlife. She is the author of “99 things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!”