Thanksgiving Day is fast upon us and many will be cooking up a storm, entertaining guests, traveling, and dealing with a lot of stress. The holidays bring out the best and worst in people as the premise of love, families, friendship, thankfulness and religion are celebrated.
Many find themselves grateful when January finally arrives. Here are 5 tips to help you keep your sanity this holiday season that do not involve unhealthy lifestyle choices …like too much wine.
1. Accept it.
The holidays are here and will be here for the next 30 days or so. This being the case, we need to accept that chaos is going to ensue, details will be forgotten or less than perfect. Last-minute requirements mean long lines and traffic, and tempers will be short.
Take a deep breath and tell yourself, “It’s just the holidays.” They come every year. You promise to be better than last year but it is okay if you are not. This leads to the next tip …
2. Let it go.
Shrug your shoulders, smile or laugh and let it roll off your back like a natural. Mom pushing all of your buttons? In-laws making demands? Dreading your brother-in-law? Your “to-do” list is growing? Boss becoming more demanding? School holiday program wants you to lead it?
Remember that you are only one person and it is the holidays. Focus only on what is truly important and let the rest go. Setting boundaries is truly important this time of year. It’s okay to say “No.”
3. Do things that make you happy.
This will help you keep your sanity if you maintain your happiness routines such as exercise, healthy eating, plenty of water or massage appointments.
Go for lunch with a girlfriend. Keep your date night with your husband and movie nights with the family. When all togetherness gets to be too much, read a good book alone for an hour. Take the time to breathe, accept it and let it go.
4. Consider getting extra support.
If it’s dreary in your neck of the country, buy a happy light to help your mood and set it about eye level (maybe on your desk, counter or vanity) for a couple of hours each morning. Brew up a good tea that has words like "tension tamer", "calming", "bedtime", or "sleep" in its name to help you unwind at night.
Take your basic supplements to keep your immune system healthy such as your multivitamin, good quality fish oil, B-complex and perhaps an extra 250 mg of magnesium if you are feeling tight muscles or more headaches than usual.
5. Talk it out.
For many people, the holidays bring up painful memories that do not make this time of year joyful. Or the stress is so overwhelming that it becomes difficult to enjoy. Understand this about yourself, accept that it is okay and seek help.
Talk to a counselor this time of year, talk to someone you trust such as your partner, parent or best friend. Check in with your health care provider and let them know the truth about how you are feeling.
Enjoy this holiday season and focus on those you love because that is what it is all about!
Reviewed November 26, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith