The holidays can be stressful as EFF. It can feel like you’re always running from one thing to the next, not doing enough, never stopping to take a breath, dealing with the stresses of family dynamics, and having zero time for yourself. Personally, I always feel like the parents from “Home Alone” waking up late, throwing on clothes, screaming and running to get everyone ready, and knowing I forgot something but not realizing what it is until it’s way too late.
Not to mention, someone is bound to get into an argument and have a level 100 reaction like Elise in “First Wives Club” when she says, “You think just because I’m a movie star, I don’t have feelings, well, you’re wrong! I do have feelings! I’m an actress! I have ALL of them.” We’ve all been there. Things will get messy at some point. Someone will do something that irritates someone else, do something they wish they hadn’t, say something they didn’t mean, or behave in a way they normally don’t.
So how do you survive all the crazy? How do you get through the holidays in one piece? Here are a few tips and tricks!
- Accept that you are going to be busier and more stressed out than usual but it’s only for a short period of time. Mentally prepare.
- Anticipate that something is going to go wrong. The Holidays will never be perfect or go as planned, so be realistic about your expectations. This will keep you from being disappointed and allow you to be more flexible.
- Cut yourself some slack and forget the guilt. You might have one more drink or piece of cake than you normally would, but you won’t die. Accept it and move forward. You will be presented with plenty of opportunities to make different choices and find what works best for you.
- Say no if you need to. If you’re stressed out and feel like you’re about to crash, it’s OK to say no. You can’t do everything and please everyone. If you need to skip the 30th holiday party, it’s OK not to go. Everyone is so caught up in their own holiday, they probably won’t even notice if you’re there and they certainly won’t hold it against you since everyone knows how stressful it can be.
- Have your toolbox ready. The holidays are stressful and make many anxious and triggered. Make sure you have some coping skills at your disposal whether it’s taking a walk around the block, screaming into a pillow, slamming down on a piano, stepping out of the party for a little bit, calling a close friend, doing breathing exercises, meditating, taking a hot shower, writing a fuck you letter, doing some stretches or whatever works for you. Keep a mental list of things you can turn to to keep your sanity.
- If something really triggers you or gets your goat, ask yourself, “Will this matter to me in a day, week, or year?” This will help put things into perspective.