Surviving the Holidays

This time of the year can be full of joy, and a good abundance of annoyance.  To often people place high demands on others during the holiday season.  Far too often people feel pulled in all different directions by loved ones, and this can wear down even the most resilient of people.

So how do you Survive the Holidays?

Make a schedule of things you have to do:

This one step can save you tremendous headaches in the long run.  Take the time to formulate a battle plan of chores or things you need to accomplish before the holidays.  This simple step will make things much more manageable, and maybe save you some anxiety in the end.  It also can make the unsuspected things a little more easy to swallow.  Prioritize the things that will take the most time first, and be sure to a lot enough time so that you don’t end up trying to run the Kentucky Derby at the end.  Remember slow and steady wins the race.

Communicate with your significant other effectively:

Two hands make for lighter work right?  Well if you can enlist more hands this can make tasks even easier to complete.  If you need things from the store you can always send your significant other out with a list and specify the things you need.  If children are old enough and responsible, you can always enlist their help.  This not only saves you work, but also makes them feel like they are part of the holiday planning.

Plan for the Unexpected:

Everything does not always go as planned.  So be prepared that something could go awry.  Hopefully you will not have anything go amiss, but if you do, do not let it derail your focus.  Do your best to stay calm.  If you loose your cool, this will increase anxiety and further complicate matters.  Often we make mole hills into mountains, so try to look at the problem at hand for what it is.  If the rolls got a little overdone, you can always get more if need be, if not just remember, butter makes everything better!  If you learn to roll with the obstacles and set backs that occur in your life.  Focus on staying positive, learn effective use of problem solving techniques, and learn to laugh at yourself.  People often will find that they feel less stressed, have reduced anxiety, and tend to not make small things into larger problems.

Remember to breath:

If you need to take a break, take one you deserve it.  Remember at the beginning I said slow and steady wins the race.  Sometimes a break from that race can make a world of difference.  If you feel like your getting overwhelmed, sit down, take a breath.  Maybe take a walk outside, around the house.  The walk away from the holiday preparation, might be the little break you need.  Breaks can help you relax, improved focus, and give you that little boost your need to keep moving forward.

Keep focus on the things that matter most:

The holidays are about family and loved ones.  The hustle and bustle can be distracting.  It can cause us to get lost in a daze of getting things done, making sure all the preparations are complete, and buying and wrapping gifts.  This is all important but ultimately the holidays are about our loved ones and family.  Sometimes all of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday events causes us lose sight of the things that matter the most.

If you feel you are getting overwhelmed by expectations that are said, implied, or you believe are being placed on you.  Remember you can always ask for help, say no, or ask for each family member to play a part in the preparation.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season!