12 Days of Sanity

How to Survive Holiday Stress

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas carols, holiday cards, endless dessert, unlimited  parties, and don’t forget those unwanted visitors… stress, anxiety, and depression. For many of us, the holidays bring about the very opposite of what society suggests. By December 31st, at the stroke of midnight, we are drained and we swear to ourselves that next year will be different, but the cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression continues. Here are 12 ways to remain sane starting TODAY.

1. Acknowledge your feelings-prepare yourself for what is to come. Preparation is key.

2. Say NO! It’s that simple.

3. Relax. Don’t overdo it.

4. Don’t feel forced by tradition. If a tradition is overwhelming and stressful, modify it or do away with it.

5. Walk away from worries. A brisk 30-minute walk will reduce your stress and also burn off those extra calories.

6. Do less and enjoy more. Another simple one. The saying “less is more” is perfect for this time of the year.

7. Don’t abandon your daily routine. A sense of normalcy and predictability is important during the holidays.

8. Laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh until your belly aches and tears fall down your face. Doctor’s orders.

9. Forget perfection. Do what you love to do well and let someone else do everything else.

10. Abandon old emotions. The fight you had last Christmas with your cousin, let it go. The weight of old conflict isn’t worth it.

11. Listen to your favorite tunes. Music combined with aromatherapy works wonders. Play your favorite music loudly and frequently.

12. Under commit. Under commit then spontaneously do what you have extra time to do. It feels way better than overcommitting.

So there you have it! Nothing fancy, just 12 simple things to do to enhance your holidays. If you find  yourself seriously depressed or overwhelmed, please speak to a therapist. This time of year is tough for so many but it doesn’t have to be. Try something different and try to reflect on what the holidays are truly about.