How to Stay Sane this Holiday
Are you a Holiday Elf? Or is it tough this time of year?
Ho ho ho Holiday … Harumph?
Happy Holidays turning into Harried Holidays?
Holidays are historically more stressful than other times. Not only do we miss loved ones that passed away, our expectations create anxiety.
In childhood most were taught this is a “magical time” – so we should be happier. Most kids love it. Adults often resist Holiday Magic. Some work at inoculating themselves against wonder, joy, magical feelings, amazement, delight…
Instead, we worry. A lot. We worry about buying the right gift, credit card bills in January, will the storm windows hold another season, will my car start tomorrow, are my thighs too fat, is my hair thinning and will my cowboy hat cover the bald spot?
Then there’s the added burden of the “perkiness factor.” We’re supposed to suspend all our usual grumpiness and just be happy. Happy Happy Happy Holidays – bleah.
Many people just don’t want to be happy. It’s too hard. They wish the holidays would go by quickly. Some have old memories and wounds that get in the way. Some have had a tough year so it’s not easy to be perky.
Here are 7 tips to enjoy the Holidays. Hey, it could be your last, you never know. Celebrate ANYWAY.
- You don’t need to do it all yourself. There are people who clean house, wrap gifts, cook, file, walk the dog, and all that good stuff. They need employment during the holidays and we need you to be sane. Hire them.
- Not everyone needs a gift from you. Write a note, an e-mail or call them. The joy of the holidays is in connecting with those you love. Connection = Priceless. Or if a gift is in order, the perfect gift may be a gift certificate for a book, spa, beauty parlor, or golf course. (Or, of course, one of my books!) Find things that are easy to wrap, easy to mail, easy to transport.
- People move. Find them online. Snail mail will come back. Start a basket for returned correspondence. Follow up at your leisure. Set aside time to handle correspondence and be done with it a little at a time. Keep track of new addresses (and while you are at it, I no longer live in Hawaii…)
- Create a holiday budget and stick to it. Carry only enough cash for holiday shopping & a few unexpected surprises along the way. Selectively leave high interest credit cards home. If you shop online, keep a log of purchases to track your spending.
- Be conscious of what you eat, but don’t try and diet right now. Try eating healthy food before you leave for parties. Apples are great because they have a chemical that stems hunger. Drinking water before, during and after parties will also keep you from over eating and over-imbibing. If you drink, remember Prevent DWI with DD.W.T.S. – Designated Driver, Walk, Taxi (or Lyft/Uber), Sleep it off
- Be Aware – Be safe. Situational Awareness is your friend. Pay attention to others in parking lots and stores. Watch your purses and wallets. Don’t carry more than you have to. Don’t flash money in front of other people. If your intuition sounds a warning, pay attention. Get into the habit of locking your door the moment you get in your car. Have packages delivered to friends if you won’t be home when the UPS guy shows up.
TIPS: Ladies, when you put on your seat belt, slip the belt through your purse handle first. If someone tries a smash & grab (breaking the window to get your purse) it will be secured. If you load your trunk, toss your purse into the trunk or over the back seat first while holding your keys in your hand, then lock the car while the trunk is open. That locks all the other doors, protects your car and contents, and removes temptation to grab your purse off your shoulder or out of your cart while you are distracted. If you load gifts into your trunk, don’t leave the car and walk away. That invites auto theft or theft from your vehicle if the bad guys are watching.
- Be kind to each other this season. Even if you aren’t stressed, remember that other people may be. Not everyone finds this a jolly time of year. Ramp up the consideration and tolerance a little. Take lots of deep breaths, and don’t take it all so seriously. We are in this world together. Consideration, kindness, generosity and patience go a long way to reducing the collective stress on the planet.
Take care of yourself this Holiday Season! We need you!