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This year has flown by so quickly. In stores, I have been seeing holiday decorations since August. It’s now mid-October and the holidays are quickly approaching. For me, the holiday season begins with Halloween and goes through the end of the year.

There is so much going on to prepare for. But above and beyond planning how you’re going to decorate your home, have you begun to put together and activate your plans on how you’re going to get through this holiday season with all the stress and personalities you have to deal with?

If not, now is the time to put together an action plan as to how you will implement both self-care strategies as well has how you’ll deal with the stressful situations that arise when we’re around office functions and family gatherings.

I will offer you a few suggestions as to how to get started on your action plan, but as each of our areas are subjective, I invite you to alter or create your own healthy ways for dealing with these situations.

Practice Self-Care This Holiday Season

Entrepreneur preparing for holiday season family get together
Entrepreneur preparing for holiday season family get together

First, let’s talk about self-care. If you watch the news or read the self-help articles that are everywhere, you will hear similar suggestions from the experts. The reason they are repeated so often by so many is because they work. I’ll list a few tips, but as mentioned above, feel free to add what works for you.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is a great regenerator, and great healer. Getting your 7-8 hours supports your body from the stress of all your daily activities. It can boost your thinking capabilities, productivity, and over-all function. It will boost your immune system and help prevent you from gaining weight.

Make healthier choices with your food

What are healthier choices? For me healthier choices mean moderation. If you want a dessert, have one or two small bite desserts. Use portion control when serving yourself from a sumptuous buffet. If you really want another serving, go back for a second helping. When not at an event or party, choose healthier options.

Limiting alcohol consumption

Many feel that holiday parties and events are a great reason to let loose and consume as many drinks as they desire. The problem is that when you drink your inhibitions are relaxed, you may display poor social judgement and do or say things that you may regret. If you are going to indulge, drink a glass of water in between drinks.

Move your body

Moving your body is a great stress reducer. If you feel yourself getting stressed, anxious, or agitated, doing something as simple as taking a walk can help you shift those emotions and gain more control over emotions. It’s also good for your heart and body.

Take time to slow down

Take time each day to sit quietly, taking in some slow deep breaths and clearing your mind. If you’re saying to yourself, this is meditation, you’re right. It is. By taking a few minutes to close your eyes, slow your breath, and breathing deeply, it will help you to think clearer and reenergize yourself.

Tips for Dealing with a Stressful Family During the Holidays

Family toasting dinner holiday dinner
Family toasting dinner holiday dinner

Let’s talk about how to handle those difficult people we call family. It doesn’t matter if the people are blood relatives, or the family we work with, there are those special people who know just how to push our buttons. Here are a few suggestions on how to bob and weave through the event.

Don’t discuss politics or anything Covid related

It used to be that it wasn’t a good idea to talk about politics or religion, but today it’s politics and Covid. If you want to see a fireworks show, you’ll definitely ignite a hail storm of sparks by either of these subjects. If someone tries to bait you into these topics, try to change the subject. If the person or persons want to continue to talk about their beliefs, excuse yourself, then find another group to talk to. If this is around a family table, excuse yourself from the table.

Don’t tolerate bad behavior

If someone is poking you with barbs, insults or hurtful statements, you have a few ways to handle it. You can ask them if they’ve had a stressful day, or you can let them know that it’s not ok to talk to you or about you in that way and to not do it again. You can say flat out that what they said was hurtful and that you don’t appreciate it. If they continue, excuse yourself and walk away.

You can be a little more humorous about it by saying something like: “ Ouch, did you mean to be that rude”, or “There must be something wrong with my hearing. Did you really say that?” or “ Wait a sec, I’d like to video you saying that, so I can post it on social media”.

Don’t attend the event

If you feel that no matter what you do or say the evening will turn into a disaster, choose to not attend. Save yourself from the stress and aggravation that you know will inevitably happen.

Forgive yourself if you lose your temper

Try as you may, try as you might, you are human and sometimes no matter how hard we try someone will trigger you. If that happens, first and foremost forgive yourself. If you exchanged words and you’ve said things you’re not proud of, apologize and leave. 

I believe we know ourselves enough to know who or what can cause a reaction. Be kind to yourself and stay out of the fray as best as possible. By implementing some of these suggestions, you may surprise yourself and have a good time.

Wishing you a holiday season of peace, joy and self-care.

Have any more tips on getting through the holiday season? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.