Dr. Clara’s Holiday Survival Tips
Take Breaks & Walks
Even if it’s for a few minutes, give yourself breaks throughout the holiday to breathe, think, relax, and recharge.
Take a walk, no matter how short and take in the sunshine and the outdoor. It’s known to have a tranquilizing effect, decreasing anxiety. Removing yourself from a stressful environment for a while can be very helpful as well.
Curve Your Expectations from Yourself and Others
You don’t have to be the perfect host or perfect anything. If someone is not happy with the way you are, let them take over. It’s usually their issue and not yours.
Don’t Forget to Sleep Well
Skimping on sleep can have serious physical and emotional consequences and you need to be well rested year round, including the holidays. Also, try to catch short naps whenever you can.
Say “No” and “Help.”
Prioritize and pace yourself and learn to say “no” and “help” once in awhile. You don’t have to go and do everything. And it’s okay to ask for help too. Get people involved instead of slaving away all by yourself. You’ll wear yourself out and build resentment.
I meditate everywhere during the holidays, including the airport, the grocery store, malls, etc. It helps us focus, rejuvenate, and stay calm. Just 5-10 minutes a day is a good beginning.
Don’t Forget to Laugh
You need it more than ever. So find the humor in the situation around you and watch or see things that make you laugh at least 5 minutes a day. My uncle in a giant reindeer sweater or my friend trying to cut a fruit cake from the 1800’s always works for me.
Helping others gets you out of the house, whether you’re alone or with a lot of people. It also gets you out of your head to focus on someone less fortunate. In return, you’ll get a dose of gratitude and self esteem.
Your body and mind is extra stressed during the holidays. So exercise regularly. Go for a walk, a run, take a dance class, or hit the gym. It will be a good break and escape. Regular exercise can boost your mood for up to 12 hours, so annoying relatives and guests won’t irritate you as much.
Prevent Weight Gain
Before any party or event, eat almost a full meal and always carry healthy snacks such as nuts, bananas, or raisins. It’s filling, nutritious, and high in fiber, which will keep you full longer. This will prevent you from swallowing your friend’s buffet spread. Also, stay hydrated by drinking water regularly.
Focus on all the positive things during this holiday rather than the few negative things that could weigh you down. You still have control over your reactions. So place your precious energy on people who matter and have a blast!