Holiday season is already here and some of us look forward to it throughout the whole year and some simply abhor it and just want to get over it. For some people it is the most stressful time of the year, between the pressure to make everyone happy with gifts, attend all Holiday events, prepare Holiday dinners and get-togethers, clean, cook, shop, and manage everything within financial constraints. This special time of the year brings many times unwelcome guests like stress and depression. Many of us realize how lonely we are and the end of the year brings obvious assessments of the year to end.
But Holidays do not have to be something you dread. You can take steps to avoid all negative emotions and savor this season. Here are a few tips to enjoy this special time:
1. Do not forget that these are your holidays as well and you should enjoy and celebrate them just like everyone else. At the same time, remember Holidays do not have to be perfect, have realistic expectations and plan ahead to make it memorable yet within your means.
2. Be aware of your feelings and reach out if you feel lonely. If you can not be with your loved ones it is normal to feel sad. If you feel isolated, reach out to your friends or seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Try to surround yourself with positive energy to keep your spirits high.
3. Try to have a good time and enjoy any parties you will be attending. Do not treat them as obligatory annoyances. Just relax, smile and talk to people. Learn to say No as well. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can not attend certain party.
4. Remember to eat healthy. Watch out for rich, heavy Holiday trips. Maintaining a proper diet will help you feel better, have more energy and be in a better mood. Stick to smaller portions and choose lighter snacks, like fruits or vegetables with dips, salads, small canapés, drink water between alcoholic drinks. Cut down on desserts.
5. Create a budget before you go gift and food shopping and stick to it. Be realistic about how much money you can afford to spend. Do not try to buy happiness with results. You can try these if your budget is tight: donate to a charity in someone's name, give home gifts or start a family gift exchange. You do not have go crazy with food shopping. Most shops will only be closed for 1 or 2 days at the most.
6. If you are spending time with others, it is possible for some tension to creep in. Negative emotions can raise for many reasons. So encourage everyone to have some “me-time”. Make some personal space and time for yourself whether to read a book, have relaxing bath or listen to music. If you can, go for a walk. Fresh air will help you relax especially after spending all days indoors!
7. Share tasks or offer to help if you are a guest. Do not let one person to do everything. It's a time of giving so ask for help if you have to and offer it if someone needs it.
8. Be kind to yourself! If things do not turn out exactly as you wanted it is not the end of the world!
9. Remember what Holidays are about! They do not have to be just focused on presents and food and drink!