10 tips on surviving the holidays: Your support guide!

I have always loved the Christmas holidays. I have always loved the Christmas holidays. I have always loved the Christmas holidays.

If I sound like I am trying to convince myself, I am. Don’t misunderstand. I am not Scrooge. I have always liked Christmas, and loved the holidays when I was a child and I did not need to do anything, be anywhere, and smile while doing it! Does this sound familiar? I am sure it does. So how do you prevent yourself from having a Clark Griswald breakdown over the holiday season?

Don’t let this be you!
  1. Turn off your radio or turn on your iPod. There are only so many carols one can hear before Christmas actually arrives. Some artists really did not need to record the 81st rendition of “It’s cold outside”, singing very, very flat while doing so!
  2. Rather than writing Christmas/​Hanukkah/​Eid greetings cards, why not send an e‑mail? You can still personalize slightly and get the point across. Plus, it saves trees.
  3. Buy gifts online, or reduce what you actually need to purchase. North America is highly commercial, and honestly, do you really need all of the items advertised on TV? You don’t, and you know it. If you can convince your family and friends not to go crazy with spending sprees, you will not only save yourselves time and money but sanity not going to the mall. Or, if you have certain tasks to achieve, try to split up the responsibilities. Divide and conquer!
  4. Say no to every holiday event. Well, I’m sure you would love to, but only say yes to the holiday events you can actually attend, or think you won’t have to convince yourself to attend and not be sulking in the corner. Your loved ones would much rather see you in a good mood than picking a fight because you are just too exhausted. If you need to revise this list over the course of the holidays if you become ill or are too tired to go, allow yourself to check-​in to do what you can physically achieve.
  5. If you must go out to several events, remember to occasionally leave the room or go for a little break outside (no, this is not a smoking break!). Sometimes not all of the people in our families bring out the best in us, and it is okay to not always see eye-​to-​eye, that is what makes you unique people. You are not forced to spend absolutely every minute in one another’s presence! Taking a breather can be a good thing.
  6. As comedian Louis CK points out, “The meal’s not over when I’m full, it’s over when I hate myself”, and by the end of the holidays you may regret this choice for a number of reasons, but most of all you will just feel revolting. Everyone overindulges at times; just try to consider the consequences to those actions.
  7. Cut down on the sugar. It is a not a food group.
  8. Cut down on the caffeine. It is not a food group.
  9. Be conscious of your alcohol intake. If you are imbibing, consider drinking some milk thistle tea (see earlier posts). Be nice to your liver. Above all, please do not drink and drive. Let’s be sure everyone has a happy few weeks.
  10. Remember that this is time for you and your family (whomever they are, biological or not), and try to find a few happy things to do together over the few days off. Skating, hot chocolate, reading, sleeping… coming back refreshed will make you feel much more able to tackle 2012 head-​on. Laughter is the best medicine, and so be sure to do a lot of that!

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