The holidays can drive us crazy, if we let them.
As amazing as the holiday months are, they also come with a lot of stress. Expectations are high, inhibitions are low, and once the alcohol starts flowing anything can happen.
Whether you are going to a slew of holiday parties, or spending time alone with family in a secluded mountain lodge, navigating the ups and downs of the holidays can be enough to drive a person insane.
With that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your sanity over the holidays:
Plan ahead– During the holiday season, planning is really your best friend. Are you on the hook for cooking a huge meal? Hosting a slew of family members? Dealing with random food allergies? The more buttoned up about this you can be, the better, even if you have to create an entire google calendar for it.
Stay active– Tis the season for laying around and doing nothing, but being too sedentary during the holidays can have a negative impact on your mental health. Leave the house every day if you can, even if it’s just to take a walk around the block. Getting your blood pumping will help keep your stress levels down.
READ MORE: How to Avoid Gaining Holiday Weight
Have an escape route– Sometimes the only thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation. If you feel yourself getting too stressed around your family, leave! Whether you borrow a car to hit up a farmer’s market, or offer to go on some errands, getting away from a stressful situation does wonders.
Avoid political conversations– In this political climate, conversations are bound to pop up. If you know a certain family member is going to be around for the holidays, and you also know that your politics don’t align, consider declining to engage. Chances are you will not change any minds over the holidays, and with family sometimes its just better to avoid certain topics.
Choose your battles wisely– The funny thing about family is, there is nobody with whom you share more history. And by history, I mean fights. There are bound to be old grudges, unresolved conflicts, and family issues that arise during the holidays. Before you walk into a conflict, consider whether it is really worth going into.
I firmly believe you should communicate and say your piece, but doing it around other family members, during a holiday is probably ill-advised.
If you want to squash an issue with a family member, consider using the holidays to set up a time to discuss it. Agreeing to disagree for the moment can save the holiday and curtail any undue stress.