It’s that time of year again when all therapists, self-help gurus and health and wellness sites publish the obligatory note about how to weather the stress of the holiday season. We all know that article is creeping up on us, waiting to be written yet again just as soon as the weather starts to change. Usually, I dread trotting out the same handful of clichéd bits of advice that every other Tom, Debra and Harriet will be spinning. But this year, I have a few ideas of my own. Forge ahead faithful reader to discover my top tips:
1) Go to the family gathering and hang out with the kids: I’m not joking. Great Aunt Edna might want to discuss your lifestyle choices with you in great detail over a cup of spiked egg nog. And, ordinarily your refusal to get into it with her yet again might be taken as evidence of your grinch-like leanings. But who can argue with a guy/gal who is so filled with the holiday spirit that she/he wants to spend it paling around with the people who understand the holidays best–children? Besides getting you a reprieve from heavy conversations that can only lead to trouble, have you played with some of these new video games? Seriously, I really want Santa to bring me a Wii for Christmas.
2) Make presents rather than buying them: I really believe that there are some upsides to an economy that seems to forever spiral downwards. One of those upsides is that people seem to be feeling a bit more sentimental and less materialistic. Take advantage of this by using whatever skills you have to craft homemade presents. For instance, each year my brother makes me a CD of music he thinks I will like. My mother, a fabulous artist, has painted everyone’s gifts this year. You can make soap, cookies, poems, or toilet bowl covers. Whatever you do, don’t create a stress you’ll regret the rest of the year by overspending beyond your means. This is certainly a year in which people will understand.
3) Decide to have fun: Whether you’re at a family dinner or an office party, there may be a certain amount of performance anxiety involved. But, you can alleviate a good bit of this by simply deciding to enjoy yourself. It’s like deciding to run a mile and arriving huffing and puffing, but victorious. As I have pointed out before, your happiness is largely in your own hands. If you know your father is passive aggressive, decide now to let him own his behavior as you will own yours. There is freedom in removing yourself from emotional record keeping for other people. If you need help figuring out how, why not stop by my office for a pre-holiday chat?
I hope everyone has a very merry, happy holiday season indeed!
Your Partner in Healing,
twitter ID: HollyCoxLMFT
If you would like a FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION to see how I can help you have your best year yet, please call me at 407.913.4988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org