Author: Liz Frome
Keep Your Regular Routine
A change in routine can lead to additional stress. Try to exercise at your usual time, go to meetings that you normally go to, and stick to as normal a routine as you possibly can.
While it may be easy to drink and eat too much at parties and special dinners, we should try not to overindulge with food and/or alcohol.
So many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be like and are very disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations. Try to be realistic. Remember, nobody has a perfect holiday or perfect family.
Make sure to leave time to spend with friends and/or family who value you. And if they don’t live close by, call them for a “reality check” or some “grounding.” Remember to ask for support if you need it.
Throw Guilt Out the Window
Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice, or even to enjoy the holidays. Give yourself a break this holiday season. Don’t worry about gift giving, the gift of touching base is truly enough!
Don’t Be Alone, if You Don’t Want to Be
If you anticipate spending the holidays alone, try to volunteer somewhere, like a shelter that feeds the unhoused, with children in group homes, or the elderly in various facilities. People will so appreciate you that you may feel better about yourself, but more importantly, you’ll have company. I would do this each year when I lived in Chicago and it was so valuable for me; the joy you bring will stay with you for a long time.
Focus on Today, Not Yesterday.
There’s something about being with family and old friends that makes us become who we were and not who we are. If there is someone at the get-together who knows what you are like today, make sure to reach out to them and draw them into the interactions. That will help to ground you.
Just Say No
It’s OK to say no when you’re asked to do more than you can. It’s fine to say no to some invitations and fine to say no to those asking for favors. Remember, this is your holiday too! I truly love the time I have at home now; doing nothing. This is rare for me and I truly appreciate this time!
Ask for Help
Holidays are often a time people attempt to take on too much or do too much on their own. It’s OK to ask for help from family and friends. Whether for decorating, shopping, cooking, or a shoulder to lean on, JUST ASK. Many times even your good friends do not know what you are going through!
Be Good to Yourself
If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself. Do what feels good, and what you want to do. Try to take a walk, go to the beach – being good to myself is to be outside and feel the fresh air on my face and truly what I value is taking my dogs for a walk on Christmas Day! Spend time alone, if that’s what you want. Remember, this is your holiday too, and you can be there for yourself just like you try to be for everyone else.