It's that time of year again. Family, food, office parties, holidays of all kinds, and yes, stress. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, but it also marks the beginning of what can be a high anxiety couple of weeks. No matter what you do, or do not celebrate, this time of year brings an added layer of chaos; special social events, family gatherings, gift giving, and cold weather moving in. I know, it can feel overwhelming, but overwhelming doesn't have to overshadow the best the holiday season has to offer.
I'm already staring at my December calendar wondering when I'm going to take a breath, but I also know it's important to find ways to enjoy time with my favorite people. If this sounds familiar, read on! Hopefully one or more of my holiday season survival tips will work for you.
Know Your Priorities
Holiday time brings lots of invitations to family meals, parties, office get-togethers, etc. You may feel obligated to accept each one, but I promise, you really don't have to. Before the Facebook events, evites, phone calls, and texts come flooding your way, take some time to prioritize. Do you really need to show up to five office parties? Probably not.
Let Go of Gift Giving Stress
This is a tough one for me. Even though I know I'm a terrible gift-giver, I still spend an unnecessary amount of time stressed about picking the perfect gift for each person. But guess what? It really is the thought that counts, and sometimes practical gifts are the best. I'm looking at you, Smartwool socks.
Ditch the Scale
Yes, hide or throw away your scale, and stay far away from the one at the gym. Even though you aren't going to accept every invite (see above), you are going to spend a couple of weeks eating and drinking a little extra. And that's okay, so why beat yourself up about it by stepping on a silly piece of metal? As long as you stick to your normal eating routine most of the time, your body will find it's way back.
Move Your Body
I know, I know. I just finished telling you it's okay to eat a little extra, but feeling yucky from too many cookies isn't great either. Luckily, a little movement goes a long way, especially for your mental health. Just remember to do what works for you (read more about that here). Please don't make yourself run a mile if you would rather just take a walk.
Calendar Me Time
Take out your calendar right now, I mean it, and schedule some "me" time. During stressful moments it's even more important to reserve time for yourself. I also know from experience that if it's not scheduled, it's not going to happen. Your "me" time can be anything; binge a new show on Netflix, go shopping, bake, take a nap. You know you best.
Recruit a Holiday Survival Buddy
Sometimes alone time is the best cure, but sometimes having a friend to vent to is better. We are not alone in our holiday anxiety, so find a buddy, or group of buddies to help out. Family driving you crazy? Text your buddy. Stuck on what to buy your brother? Bring your buddy shopping. Even introverts like myself need human interaction.
Suggested Holiday Survival Activities
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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