Melissa Shaub

More Than Just Surviving the Holidays

With the approach of the holidays come emotional challenges, stressors within the family dynamics, and unease about unhealthy behaviors that may crop up during this time of year. Yet there are real ways to not just “survive” the holidays, but to actually make this season happier than ever before. Here are some ways to create long-lastng memories well after the holiday season is over:

1. Keep Expectations Realistic: Even before Halloween is over, we get bombarded by the media with ads, commercials and the like painting the holiday season as a time filled with joy, family gatherings, and celebrations. For some, this is just not reality. Understand that some people face a level of challenge during the holiday season. Therefore, trying to manage your expectations without judgement can help decrease feelings of anger and disappointment if things don’t turn out to be picture-perfect.

2. Maintain Self-Care: Yes, there is a way to feel balanced during the holiday season! Even with family and friends around, it is still important to take some “me” time. No matter where you are, continue with your yoga, meditation, exercise, or other practices that make you feel grounded and calm. If weather permits, go for a walk. Listen to some soothing music, take a warm shower or bath, or simply steal away a few minutes to find a quiet place to read.

3. Give to Others: This one is so important! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own holiday commitments, which may feel stressful and taxing. Engaging in volunteer work to help those less fortunate in your community, assisting at a soup kitchen or food pantry, giving your time at an animal shelter, or gathering toys for kids can make you feel good about yourself and the holidays.

4. Practice Gratitude: More and more studies are showing just how much of a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being focusing on gratitude can have. Take the time to jot down everything you are grateful for, whether that be people, pets, circumstances, or anything big or small that brings you joy in your everyday life. Doing this can elevate our mood and offer us many reasons to celebrate.