Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Surviving (and enjoying) the Holidays

I realized that it's November. That means it is officially "almost Christmas." I hate to admit it, but even I can get swept up in the chaos that goes on this time of year. To stay sane, try to be aware of and plan to avoid these common holiday mistakes:

· Over-doing it-is it REALLY going to be possible to go to four parties in one weekend? Does that even sound like fun? Prioritize important events and say a polite "No thank you" to stay balanced.

· Over-imbibing. Have a plan for safe, sane alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and can actually make you feel worse. If it is a problem, seek help from a professional or Alcoholics Anonymous.

· Over-eating. Plan to eat a small, healthy, produce based meal before attending parties where heavy food will rule.

· Over-expectations. If somebody pushes your buttons the other 364 days per year, it is likely that behavior will not be suspended for a holiday. In fact, holiday stress tends to bring out these quirks. Have compassion for them and yourself and pre-plan a few coping strategies depending on your situation such as using humor or assertiveness to address the situation.

· Over-spending. Many people are digging themselves into debt that it takes the rest of the year (or more) to get out of. Think of alternate ways to show people you care, such as giving them the gift of your time or a shared experience.