Generally speaking, the holiday season is a glorious time. There’s (hopefully, at least around Christmas) snow on the ground. There’s more homemade food than you can possibly figure out what to do with. Classic movies are running on repeat. You get to experience your family and friends all at once—oftentimes sitting in the same living room or around the same dinner table. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get at least one Christmas gift that you’ve been wanting ever since this time last year.
However, as life would have it, even with all of the complete and utter awesomeness that the holiday season has to offer from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve, if you’re not mentally, physically and even spiritually prepared, it can throw you a couple of ho-hum curve balls. That’s why we wanted to offer up a few tips on how to handle the holiday season; just in case everything doesn’t go as (you personally) planned.
How to Mentally Handle the Holidays
If you’re hosting a dinner or party this year, if you’re recently in or out of a relationship or if there are some family members that you love but honestly don’t like very much (hey, don’t feel guilty; we’ve all been there before), this section is for you. We say that because the holiday season can oftentimes be an overwhelming time, emotionally, mentally and especially financially. That’s why it’s important to put a plan in place (at least three weeks before each holiday) of what you’re going to do, offer or serve; you should also create a budget (don’t forget to clip some coupons) and most importantly, get plenty of rest. A lot of people find themselves thinking they are close to having a nervous breakdown due to all of the holiday stress when the reality is they’re really more sleep deprived than anything else. Oh, and when it comes to your relationship status, you are the king or queen of your life, heart and boundaries. If it’s a new relationship, consider not bringing them around until things get more serious. And if you’re newly single, decide, beforehand, what you want to discuss and what you don’t. The holiday season is no time for being “bullied for answers”. Even by loved ones who are simply curious (or “lovingly nosey”).
How to Physically Handle the Holidays
Wanna know one of the main reasons why so many people make “lose weight” one of their top New Year’s Resolutions? It’s because of literally all of the pounds that they put on during the holidays. That said, it’s pretty unrealistic to expect you to not have some dressing, peach cobbler and whatever other kitchen surprises are in store. However, there are some things that you can do to keep the extra poundage at bay. First of all, don’t stop exercising. You may not be able to make it to the gym as much or if you’re traveling, you may have to be apart from your treadmill a few days, but there are streets and sidewalks in every city. Whether it’s before or after a meal, take a 15-20 minute walk (not a leisurely stroll, but walk). Also, you can gain a lot of calories simply by drinking. So, for every glass of juice, cider or wine that you have, have two glasses of water (even if it’s seltzer, sparkling or mineral water). It will help to flush out toxins and also counterbalance some of the calories you just drank. Oh, and please don’t forget about portion control. When it comes to eating healthy, sometimes it’s not about what we eat (or don’t eat), but how much of it we choose to consume. You don’t need an entire plate of macaroni and cheese. One serving, per day, should be enough.
How to Spiritually Handle the Holidays
If you tend to associate the holidays with loss either due to a person who has passed or a relationship that has ended, that can certainly be a bittersweet time. Rather than try to ignore how you’re feeling, talk about it with a friend who is compassionate, understanding and will keep what you said confidential. Also, it’s not uncommon for many people to experience what is known as “seasonal depression” due to the dreary whether and also how early the sun sets. Open up your curtains during the day, and at night, get some LED light bulbs. They use less energy and last much longer. And one more thing, make a point to pamper yourself. Get a massage. Change your bedding to some warm and cozy flannel sheets. Get a couple of scented candles that smell like berries, pine or even the soothing scent of lavender. If there’s one thing that you definitely need to be good to during the holidays, it’s your spirit. That way, you can (pardon the pun), get—and stay—in the holiday spirit of things!