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The holidays, although fun and full of quality time spent with close friends and family, can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Due to strained budgets, overindulging in special holiday treats, having to deal with family drama, or perhaps dealing with the loss of a loved one. Whatever the reason the holidays, for some can bring or cause much stress and unhappiness. Below I have compiled a few of my favorite tips on how to maintain your sanity during this holiday season.

Process Your Feelings

For some people the holidays can be sad because they are struggling with some type of loss. Whether that loss was because of a death of close friend or family member, a breakup or a divorce. Being surrounded by joyful happy people and seeing warm and fuzzy commercials can increase feelings of depression and sadness and cause a person to become fixated on their loss. It’s important to take you time and deal with these feelings in a healthy manner.Join a support group

  • Seek counseling
  • Be honest with others about how you feel; don’t fake it
  • Reach out to close friends and family
  • Journal how you feel and what you’re thinking

Resist Isolation

Being single during the holidays, or living far from family can lead a person to feel as though they are all alone and no one cares, which is untrue. This time of year make it even more important that you resist the urge to curl up in your pajamas at home and you get out there and be social!

  • Attend work sponsored holiday parties and events
  • Participate in Secret Santa with friends or co-workers
  • Join a local meet up group and do all the fun cliche holiday things
  • Volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter

Invent Your Own Holiday Traditions

I can speak from experience when I moved away from my home state it was hard adjusting to the holidays not being exactly the way my family does the holidays. Every attempt I made at trying to “recreate” that magic usually flopped. When I stopped trying to imitate my family holiday traditions and started creating new traditions with my husband I began to enjoy my holiday season better.

  • Host Thanksgiving with close friends
  • Unite others that will be away from their family for the holidays and spend the holidays together
  • Adopt and Host Thanksgiving or Christmas for a less fortunate family
  • Travel or get away for the holidays
  • Host a White Elephant Christmas Party

Stay on Track with Your Budget

The holidays can be expensive, trying to gift family, friends, co-workers, and people that service us in our daily lives can put a strain on the account. The best thing to do during this time of year is to create and stick to a realistic budget for the holidays. What can you realistically afford to spend this holiday season? Your budget should include food, gifts, and any travel that you will be doing. Once you know what your budget is stick to it.

  • Opt to save money an give gift cards when you can
  • Get crafty and make homemade Christmas gifts
  • Cookies, cakes, muffins and cupcakes are great gifts. Spread the yum.
  • Family gift exchange or secret santa
  • Create fun, coupons that you can exchange with friends, family, and significant others to redeem for fun activities throughout the 2018 year

Plan Your Holiday Schedule

There are so many events, so many places to be and so many things to do. Plan ahead and commit to only the events and things you truly want to do and participate in. Don’t think that you are obligated to go to everyone’s christmas party, instead say yes to those that work with your bigger schedule of christmas shopping, cooking, baking and family events.

  • Plan Ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead
  • Stick to a schedule of events (day to bake, day to cook, day to go shopping etc)
  • Plan meals for the holidays 2-3 weeks in advance
  • Create a travel itenerary
  • Create a list of ALL the items you will need to cook and bake

Stay on Track with Your Health

Don’t allow the yummy temptations of the holiday season be the reason you are unable to manage and maintain your weight. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy those yummy christmas cookies but don’t overindulge and eat the whole tray. Savor all the yummy treats and dishes that you consume and truly enjoy them but once you’re satisfied and full your’re done don’t continue going back for seconds and thirds.

  • Stay active continue your workouts or switch to at home workouts for time efficiency
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  • Include probiotics and immune boosting supplements to keep seasonal colds and viruses at bay

Schedule some Downtime

Self- care is much needed during this busy time of year; make sure you take time out to participate in the activities that you enjoy. Listen to your favorite music or go on a solo Christmas lights ride and sing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer at the top of your lungs with a thermos of hot chocolate marshmallows included. That perhaps a bit much?

  • Read your favorite books
  • Take tons of bubble baths while sipping wine and watching netflix
  • Visit the spa (massages and facials are necessary)
  • Meditate & Take a Yoga class