Holiday Survival Tips

The holidays can be a time of dread for many people, for many different reasons. They can be particularly painful if you find yourself all alone at a time when families are sharing a time of warmth and good cheer.

But being single in a couple’s world isn’t the only reason you may dread the holidays. We can place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves of what the perfect celebration “should “ look like, then fall into disappointment when we don’t measure up.

Whatever the reason for your holiday blues, please take some comfort from the fact that you are certainly not alone in how you feel. Here are 5 tips to help you navigate through this holiday season.

Let go of the past!

Do you get caught up in trying to make the holidays just like the past? The reality is, our rapidly changing times are bound to "rock the boat" of what your "perfect" holiday celebration looks
like. “Reduce your anxiety by acknowledging your opportunity to maximize your current circumstances to build new traditions, build on old ones, and abandon unrealistic expectations.”

Pace yourself.

Unlike any other time of year, the holiday season is a time of celebrations, family gatherings, winter activities and entertaining visitors. If you are divorced, you may be juggling kids schedules and fighting financial restrictions. These variables added on to an already busy lifestyle can cause unnecessary anxiety and hopelessness when things start falling apart. The key to managing additional responsibilities and social commitments during this time is to pace yourself and organize your time. Make a list and prioritize your most important activities.

Accept help, and allow for quiet time at regular intervals.

Acknowledge your feelings. The holiday season does not automatically banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, are far from family and/or friends, or are generally affected by changes in weather and light, it is ok to acknowledge that these feelings are present — even if you choose not to express them.

Practice Self-care. Eat well. Get plenty of rest and keep alcohol intake moderate. Excessive drinking only perpetuates anxiety and depression. If you are prone to depression around this time of year, keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.

Create a support system. You are not alone in how you feel at this time of year. Spend time with people who are supportive and care about you. If that isn't your family, then spend this time with friends. If you are far from home or alone during special times, make a proactive effort to build new friendships or contact someone you have lost touch with.

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