From the first toy commercial, until the ball drops on January 1, we tend to fall victim to the marathon of stress the holidays bring. But why? Is there a better way to be merry rather than manic? Jill Zahm, MSN, AHN-BC, Nurse Navigator, Parkview Center for Healthy Living, has some useful tips for surviving the yuletide season with your sanity.
It’s easy to let one negative comment or tense past exchange sour a social gathering. But focus on the true meaning of the season and the blessings of having your loved ones around you. If you need to try some new tricks to keep things light, that’s fine, too!
4 Tips for Avoiding Popular Holiday Pitfalls
1. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold onto, and be open to creating new ones.
2. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion.
3. Take hot button topics off the table.
4. Use icebreakers, even for those you have known all your life. This opens up positive conversations and helps avoid rehashing old hurts. You might just be surprised what you learn about someone.
Make index cards with questions such as…
- What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
- What was the best gift you ever received and why?
- What was the best gift you ever gave and why?
The person who’s not on your list.
One of the greatest things you can do during this hectic season, is give yourself a break. Treat yourself to a quiet moment. Stay in your pajamas a little longer than usual and read a book in front of the fireplace. Make space for your physical and mental well-being so you can truly enjoy the magic December brings.
4 Gifts You Can Give Yourself This Holiday
1. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.
2. Get lost in a pleasurable activity for an hour. Stargaze, listen to soothing music, get a massage.
3. Take advantage of free or low cost holiday offerings, such as a ride or evening stroll through the Christmas lights.
4. Treat yourself to a cooking or exercise class to yourself.