So it’s coming up to that time of year where we go to office parties, decorate the tree, shop for loved ones, get stressed, throw tantrums, curse people out and all that fun stuff. It’s the holiday season! For some it’s a walk in the park and to them I salute you. To others it can be a really stressful time both physically and emotionally. So I’ve come up with five useful ways to get you through the other side of the holiday with you sanity and money intact.
Tips to Survive Christmas Holidays
- Plan ahead – It’s pretty obvious and really basic but it is truly a life saver. Plan what you’re going to spend on, how much you’re going and also plan time for you in between. When we plan in advance we know what’s important and what we can do without. Plus it gives us an opportunity to know where we are and what we’re doing. So whether it’s that epic Christmas dinner with all the trimmings or, you’re planning a holiday escape it is important. A few key points about planning that you may want to bear in mind; be realistic about your money, your time and ask yourself ‘do I really want to do this?’ Another thing to consider when planning is to remember you in all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and wrapping of presents. Just as your family and friends matter, you matter.
- Know your limits- Indulgence can be a good thing, personally I believe a little bit now and then is good for the human spirit however we can take things too far. Remember last year’s Christmas party when you had too much to drink and decided that you were the next Girls Aloud member? Not a good memory. Or Christmas Day you had so much to eat that you spent the next two days trying to get rid of the smell of mince pies from your hair even though you washed it. Or you spent so much money on drink, food, presents and whatever else you thought was a good idea at the time that you only paid off the credit card bill three months later. I love Christmas but let’s face it our over-indulgence can be really painful at times but, a little bit of planning (see point 1) could help us have a great time and not have copious amounts of guilt after the season’s passed.
- Accept and let go – people are people and it’s not up to us to change them, that’s their job. If you live away from your family then chances are your way of being would now be different than when you lived at home. Or even if you’re still in close proximity to your family your way of being could still be different because of the different stages we’re at in our lives. Recognise that we all have short comings and that includes you (shock horror). But that’s the beauty in being human, we all have flaws and they are part and parcel of what makes us who we are including our family. This point is also for us to be mindful with ourselves because we are many times our harshest critic especially if you have perfectionist tendencies. Find a way during the season to accept and let go of the things beyond your control.
- Breathe deep- Yes we do this at least 20,000 times a day without giving it a thought but seem to be not so great at it when it counts. Apart from the obvious, when we breathe deeply it has an effect on our emotions and body. Have you ever paid attention to the way you breathe? No? That’s okay most of us don’t. We breathe shallow breaths throughout the day which doesn’t help because it can cause hyperventilation. Especially unhelpful when you’re in a state of anxiety or experiencing high levels of stress like Christmas shopping. Here’s something to try: take 5 minutes out of each day, be silent and focus on your breathing, don’t interrupt it or change it. Are your breaths shallow? Are they short but quick? Turn your attention to your body; how is it responding to this level of breathing? Any tension or anxious feelings? Now take a deep breath and let it out slowly, do this as many times as it takes to feel grounded. If it helps you can repeat some comforting words in your mind; ‘I am okay just as I am’ or ‘chill’. These are just a couple of suggestions but please feel free to come up with a word, phrase or sentence that helps you.
- Give the holidays some meaning – How do you feel when something/someone has meaning to you? It becomes more personal; it has value and leaves a lasting impression. On a grander scale somewhere along the line Christmas has become commercialised; an avenue for merchants to ply us with their wares (don’t get me wrong I like a sparkly pair of stilettos as much as the next girl). However, I have noticed that the qualities that made Christmas, well Christmas is being used to sell us merchandise. Maybe it’s time to put meaning back into the season in whatever way that resonates with you. So for example if having a sense of family is important to you and you’re unable to spend Christmas with your family, you can foster that feeling with close friends. Organise an intimate dinner with your friends. Or you may want to celebrate in a religious or spiritual way; there are several ways of doing this. And remember there is no right or wrong, there’s only what’s right for you in the space that you’re in.
That’s all I have for you today my beauties. Let me know in the comments how you survive the holidays intact.
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