How to Survive the Holidays

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The holidays are a time for togetherness, love, and appreciation. However, too often the holidays can feel more like a blended mess of overspending, family drama, and weight gain. But there is a better way, try these tips to help you survive the holidays.

Lower your expectations

This pretty much applies to everything. If you love receiving gifts, try to lower your expectations and focus more on enjoying time with family. Learn to appreciate the thought, even if it’s a pack of socks. Also, on the flip side of things, remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune. You can be thoughtful and loving without being too hard on your wallet.  Keep your budget in mind so you don’t stress out over finances.

Lowering your expectations also applies to schedules.  The holidays can become a bit tricky when you have holiday parties, family get-togethers, and shopping added to your to-do list.  Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ once and a while. It’s ok if you can’t make everyone’s party or if you can only commit to a few hours.  And, if you’re hosting, keep your family and friends schedule in mind. Try not to get stressed if they can’t make it over when you’d like them to.  Think about how you’d like someone to respond when you have to say ‘no.’ Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but “practice makes perfect.”

Stay active and practice portion control

One of the best things about the holidays is the amazing food. However, that can get a lot of us into trouble. Keep in mind that using a plate can help. Don’t eat out of the serving dish or off the appetizer trays, or you’re likely to overeat. Be mindful of portions and use a plate to keep yourself in line. Also, stay active, exercising can help you burn off those added holiday calories. Plus, exercise can help reduce stress, an added bonus!

Make time for yourself

The holiday season can get pretty packed. However, don’t get so wrapped up into things that you literally have no down time. Schedule it if you need to. Planning to do nothing is a plan. Jot some time on your calendar for “time-outs.” This can allow you to recuperate and reduce your stress level, which inevitably can help you enjoy your holidays that much more.

Remember the reason for the season. Cherish time with family and friends, but allow yourself to lower your expectations a little. Don’t let commercials get you caught up in financial burden, or let the need to please others weigh you down. Appreciate the small things so you can enjoy your holiday instead of just trying to survive it.