Staying Sane During the Holidays

When did the holidays get so stressful?

It’s supposed to be a joyous season, a season of giving and enjoying friends and family.  These days it seems to be a time of year we all get a little anxious about, maybe even dread…with all the deadlines for getting Christmas cards written and mailed out on time, making the perfect gift giving list, fighting the crowds at the malls to shop at just the right time to get the best sales, gift wrapping, party planning, party attending, travel, etc….whew, it is a busy season.

Are you feeling overwhelmed already? The best thing you can do for yourself this holiday season to make it bit more enjoyable is to take a step back every so  often to de-stress.

Be Realistic

People should realise that relationships will not change just because it is the holidays.  Expectations that family, friends, or loved ones will act differently often result in disappointment or unnecessarily strain a relationship.  Look for the good and focus on enjoying that.

Plan ahead

Assess your financial situation and then decide on how much to spend on each person.  This time of year, meaningful gifts can be more touching and healthful than expensive gifts.  Remember gifts of service, such as helping with chores or a massage, are free and may be more appreciated.

Maintain your fitness programmes

Just because it’s the holidays does not mean that exercise or healthy eating should stop.  Coupled together, healthy living relieves stress and minimizes regret from overindulgence.


Give yourself extra time

Giving to ourselves allows us to better give to other people.  Take a few extra minutes to complete a task or to just relax.  Saying no to some requests can help avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Be aware of your feelings

Don’t suppress your feelings for the sake of the holidays.  If you are depressed or angry, talk to someone.  It is better to deal with situations now than to bottle up feelings that can later snowball.  Turn to family, friends, clergy or professionals.  The key is to turn to someone who listens to you and provides helpful advice.  Inappropriate or ineffective listeners can make things worse.

Perfection is the enemy of good

The quest for perfection can often ruin a good thing.  Don’t lose focus on the purpose of what you are doing.  Realise that others will appreciate and enjoy your efforts no matter what.

Watch Your Spirits. 

It’s easy to forget that liquid calories count too.  (One cup of eggnog has close to 350 calories!)  If you know you are going to drink, switch to lower calorie choices like wine, a spritzer, or light beer.  Try to alternate each with a glass of water.

Lend a hand. 

Reaching out to someone else gets you away from your own worries and puts things in perspective.

Practice Forgiveness. 

The most important thing to remember is this should be a season of joy.  So don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up.  Just get back on track and remember why you are doing this:  Staying fit is the best way to live a happy and healthy New Year!