Surviving the “Holidaze”

How to survive the holidays

Surviving the “Holidaze”

When we think of the holiday season, two thoughts might come to mind. On one side we have Hallmark’s branding of the happy family gathered around a table, breaking bread, laughing and enjoying their time together. On the other side, we have Hollywood movies portraying a constant chaotic, stressful gathering of people who just barely tolerate one another. Which is truth? Well that probably varies for each individual person…

Regardless of what side of the spectrum your holiday season falls on, there is no doubt… the holidays can be STRESSFUL!

Whether it’s floundering over that perfect gift, figuring out how you’re going to tolerate grandma’s incessant questions, deciding exactly who you will be spending the holiday with, or the numerous other stressful moments that the holidays bring up for many… there’s no doubt, this time of year can sometimes feel more like a HOLIDAZE.

Below find some tips on how to stay sane and not fall trap to this year’s holi-DAZE.

How to Survive the Holidays

1. Do You

By “do you” I mean find some time just for you and continue living YOUR typical lifestyle. Continue those gym classes, eat your normal diet, get a massage, read that book that’s been sitting on your night table for 2 months. In other words, maintain your own sanity. Continuity and routine are good! Many people use the holidays as a 2-month pass to slack off until the New Year when they “revamp” their life and make resolutions. When we slack off and divert from the norm we can throw off our own well-being and peace of mind.

2. Avoid Drama

Whether the wine is flowing or not, we all have those family members with strong opinions (enter Election 2016.) It is very easy to let these individuals get under our skin with their loud mouths and opinionated ways. Of course, have an opinion if you feel strongly, and also know you do not have to respond. Perhaps remove yourself from the situation if this is possible (move to another room of the house) or politely ask to change the subject. Drama = Stress and none of us need more of that in our life.

Avoid holiday drama3. Focus on the Important Stuff

The holidays are about spending time with those you love; this can be family, best friends or maybe just your trusty pet. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate, everyone has his or her own traditions, religious beliefs, food preferences, etc. Try to focus on what and who makes YOU happy.


4. Life is NOT a Hallmark Card

Many people get bogged down by the “Hallmark Ideal” of a huge family gathered around a table, exchanging gifts, eating a large feast while everyone is happy and smiling without a care in the world. Life is NOT a hallmark card…lose that idea of perfection and create your own!

Although it can be a tough time of year, it doesn’t have to be. Slow down and enjoy each moment. Make the holidays less of a “daze” and more of a time filled with fun and laughter.


Authored by:  Tracey B. Weiss, LCSW