These tips can apply to ANY holiday or annual event in your life.
1. Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
2. Look at holiday traditions from a new perspective. Which holiday traditions are truly meaningful to you and which are merely habitual?
3. Remember that the holiday season does not automatically banish reasons for feeling lonely or sad. There is room for these feelings to be present.
4. Don’t be disappointed if your holidays are not like they used to be. Life brings change. Each holiday season is different and can be enjoyed in its own way. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to try something new. Celebrate in ways you have not tried before.
5. Celebrate in the true spirit of the season, do something for someone else. Try volunteering some time to help others.
6. A gift is a gesture - A gift is not your love tied in a bow. It is difficult for others to know exactly what you want and vice-versa. Trying to find the perfect gift can lead to increased levels of self-induced stress. What most people want to know is that you thought about them and tried to make their holiday special.
7. Don’t drink too much. Excessive alcohol intake will make you more depressed.
8. Spend time with people who are supportive and care about you. Make new friends if you are alone during special times. Contact someone with whom you’ve lost touch.
9. Find time to nurture yourself! Above all, be gentle with yourself. Plan some time alone to recharge your battery. Repeat over and over, “I am not June Cleaver—nor would I want to be!”
10. A good laugh or cry - During the holidays intense emotions abound. Allowing yourself to feel these emotions can often be the best medicine. Laughter and tears can help release the added tension of this time of the year.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.