With the advent of the holiday season, many people experience more than a little overwhelm. This season may even trigger emotional, social, and behavioral symptoms that are not always welcomed with open arms.
During these joyful, yet trying times, if you can do one thing for yourself, give yourself a little latitude and try to relax your standards by which you judge yourself. If you’re willing to give that a try, you may be able to gain better perspective on this holiday season.
Part of gaining perspective is becoming aware of all you are and do during the holidays.
· Be aware of your stressors and triggers, such as:
- Spending more money than you can afford
- Feeling confined and uncomfortable in crowds
- Interacting with relatives you don’t choose to see at any other time
- Having your kids out of school and underfoot
- Becoming disappointed when your expectations for the perfect holidays and gifts are not realized
- Having to manage alcohol and drug addiction when there are holiday “spirits” everywhere
- …and all the others that are unique to you and your family and friends
· Take care of your physical form so that it can take care of you!
Maintain nutrition that requires little of your body:
1. Reduce intake of fats
2. Avoid intake of toxins such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and sugar
Maintain a diet that enables your body to manage better in the face of increased stressors:
1. Eat balanced meals three times a day, though if you are hypoglycemic, try eating five smaller meals per day.
2. Eat a lot of “natural” and raw foods since they contain more nutrients than cooked, preserved foods.
3. Take your nutritional supplements religiously, especially if you are prone to “falling off the wagon” with holiday food.
Exercise three to five times a week, even if it’s only walking briskly around the mall!
· Be assertive about your needs and desires.
· Manage your time well:
- Plan your shopping days.
- Schedule alternative activities for your children so that you can accomplish what you need to do.
- Trade babysitting days with friends so that you can have some alone time.
- Plan menus and meals.
- Schedule hotel rooms for visiting relatives.
· Discuss your goals for the holidays with your family now!!!
Will you celebrate with old traditions or create new ones?
Will you exchange gifts? Will there be limits to your spending?
Will you enjoy doing things the way you’ve always done them or is it time for a change? Who will this impact?
· Volunteer your time.
If you are having a hard time managing the holidays, gain some real perspective and do some volunteer work. There are hundreds of organizations that need help during the holidays, and there is a place and purpose to meet everyone’s needs.
· Increase your relaxation time exponentially – you’ll need it!