How to Survive the Holidays

2015-11-19

The holidays are here, and although it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, it's often the complete opposite. Many people suffer from depression and anxiety over the holidays, for a variety of reasons. Keep your serenity and sanity this holiday season by following these practical suggestions:

Learn to say no: There's a lot going on over the holidays, and saying yes to every opportunity will end up leaving you depleted and unable to be present for the things that matter. There's always going to be another party, gift exchange or "Nutcracker" performance to attend. Decide who and what you want to show up for, and let go of any guilt about saying "No, thank you" to the rest.

Don't buy things you can't afford: We all know that the holidays aren't about "stuff." And yet, many of us still give in to the pressure to buy, buy, buy, until we're resentful, stressed out and broke. Before you line up for Black Friday, take a hard look at your finances and be realistic about what you truly can afford. Make a budget and stick to it.

Be creative: If you're tight on funds, there are plenty of ways to show your friends and family that you care without spending hundreds of dollars. Create unique gifts by checking out crafting and DIY websites, putting those knitting skills to good use, making a photo collage or recording a holiday song for someone you love. If all else fails, homemade baked goods are always a big hit.

Defy tradition: Sometimes all it takes to have a peaceful holiday is a willingness to try something different. Celebrate the season at a soup kitchen or deliver for Meals on Wheels. Instead of spending Christmas Day with your extended family, opt for a quiet celebration at home. Traditions are meant to be enjoyed, not endured. If yours aren't working, make new ones.

Get outside: When it's cold outside, sometimes the last thing you want to do is leave the house. But bundling up and getting out the door is well worth the effort. Sunlight and fresh air are a surefire antidote to the holiday blues, and any type of exercise will help to boost your immune system as well as relieve stress and anxiety.

Make memories: Magical experiences and time spent with loved ones are what make the holidays a time to look forward to year after year. Going on a nighttime sleigh ride or to a local performance, sledding, baking or heading out for an impromptu caroling session are all ways to create memories that will last much longer than any new toy or gadget.

Let yourself off the hook: If advertisers and social media have you convinced that the holidays are all about looking good, you might want to revise your expectations. Don't worry about cooking a meal worthy of Gourmet magazine, having an exquisitely decorated home or finding the perfect dress or perfect gift or perfect...anything, really. Instead, order in a pizza, wear something that makes you feel great, and never apologize for having a perfectly imperfect Charlie Brown tree.

For any questions about insurance, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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