Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Blues

I loved Christmas growing up, but as an adult with anxiety and a theme park career, the luster has worn off.  It's only the beginning of December and I can already feel the panic mounting, as my to do list grows.  So in response to my growing feeling of doom, I've compiled some tips for dealing with the holiday blues!

1) Keep decorating to a minimum. Decorating is the bread and butter of an aspiring home blogger, but I've found that keeping decorations to certain areas of my home can be helpful.  The holidays can bombard us sometimes and it's nice to have an area of your home were you can get away from it.  For example, I put up a big tree in the living room, along with few high impact decorations or vignettes, maybe some holiday towels in the kitchen and that's it.  Go for quality over quantity.  It's a little easier for me to stick to this since I don't have children, but maybe get the kids in on decorating their rooms, so they can see it, but it doesn't have to cover the house.

2) Make priorities.  Easier said than done, but choose one or two things that are super important to you for the holidays and only do things that further that goal.  For me, it's honoring Christmas as a religious holiday and making sure our families know that we love them.  Even with priorities in place, don't be afraid to make boundaries.  For example, I try to make every church service during Advent, but I just said no to a request to read in church; I have to work until super late the night before and I know I won't be able to adequately prepare and it will just stress me out.

3) Don't feel guilty for not having everything in your life be holiday-themed.  It can be really easy to fall into this trap, I know I do and it makes me crazy.  I almost feel like I'm required to listen to Christmas music whenever I'm in the car since it's on almost every radio station, watch Christmas movies and holiday-themed shows on TV since they're on every station.... it goes on and on.  Don't be afraid to step away and listen to music that you like the rest of the year, watch your regular shows (on Netflix if you must), etc.  This tip has saved me a few times.

4) Say no.  This one is almost impossible for many people, but it's important to say no sometimes, both during the holidays and in everyday life.  Prioritize the events that you really want or need to attend and refuse all other invitations.  Sometimes you just need to stay home and relax.  Or do the other 54 things on your to do list.

5) Don't buy gifts for everyone you know.  I'm not a big gift giver anyway, but it's easy to start thinking that you have to buy gifts for everyone that you've ever come into contact with.  Don't do it.  Buy gifts for immediate family and close friends and call it a day.  And don't sign up for the White Elephant/Secret Santa/whatever gift exchange unless you actually have to do it or actually enjoy it.

These are a few strategies that I've come up with that help me from being completely crippled with stress and anxiety during the holiday season.  I'd love to here some more ideas!

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