While the holidays are definitely an exciting and joyous time for many people, they can also be very hectic. Rushing around from one party to the next, trying to shop for gifts, bake goodies, and take care of the children while they are home from school can be difficult for even the best multi-tasker. Fortunately there are a few simple tips that you can use to survive the holidays.
The best advice that you can get in regard to surviving the holidays is to plan ahead. By being on top of your holiday schedule, you can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and even that general harried feeling that we all get. Set aside specific times for Christmas shopping or baking, and don’t do those things unless it is the schedule time. Know what you can afford for Christmas, too; make a holiday budget, and stick to it. Recognize ahead of time that you will want to spend more on gifts than your budget allows, but resolve not to.
You should also make sure to take some time to recharge during the holidays if you are going to survive. Benjamin Franklin’s advice about early to bed and early to rise is particularly appropriate advice for surviving the holidays. Get enough sleep at night so that you have the energy you need for the next day. Take a little bit of time, even if it is only a couple of hours once or twice a week, for some alone time. Enjoy a bubble bath, or read a good book. Do something that, for a little while at least, will take your mind off of the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
You should also rely on your friends and family to help survive the holidays. Parents and grandparents have often seen many more holidays come and go than you, and their advice and encouragement can be invaluable during the holidays. Listen to their tips, and use them. In addition, take some time to enjoy, not just care for, your children while they are home from school. Try to enjoy a special lunch with your girlfriends, either on a shopping day or during the week. Use these types of social events to relax, and to prepare for those bigger more stressful social events.
Finally, be willing to ask for help. If you are struggling with depression during the holidays, understand that depression can be extremely dangerous and even be disabling. Be willing to talk to your health care provider or mental health care professional if you believe you may be depressed.