I know that this time of year is supposed to be all, happy happy joy joy, but the truth is, there is much about this season that just sucks. Between juggling family obligations, wrapping up school, work and all of those presents ? which, of course you have to buy first, causing no amount of stress for well-meaning procrastinators like me ? it?s enough to turn even the merriest of elves into a Grinch.
Add to that the emotional baggage that can come with the holidays ? feuding families! Dead people we miss! Money we can?t spend! ? and the season of joy can feel downright joyless.
But, since being in a bad mood for two weeks is no fun, and it kind of wrecks it for everybody else, I am here to offer a) sympathy and b) some easy ways to remedy the feelings of stress, sadness and punch-you-in-the-throat frustration that can so easily rear it?s muddled head at this time of year. Christmas doesn?t have to be blue.
Tips for Surviving the Holidays Without Ripping Anybody?s Head Off:
- Simply decide that you cannot and will not do it all this year. If making your own advent calendar and doing all the baking and making your kids? stockings and cooking 175 latkes for the grade 1 Hanukkah party and hosting the holidays is going to kill you dead, cut something out. It?s ok, Martha ? the kids will survive with store bought cookies.
- Pick your poison ? and make sure you have it on hand, whether that means herbal tea, a bar of dark chocolate; whatever gets you through. I prefer coffee, with Baileys after six o?clock.
- Carve out a tiny bit of time for yourself. I know, this can sound ridiculous when you feel like you barely have time to go to the bathroom, but taking a few hours for yourself can be a lifesaver. Spend an afternoon at the gym or enjoying an evening out with your girls. Hell, a movie by yourself can be as relaxing as that spa treatment your husband had better get you.
- Remember the reason for the season. For me, that means family. The idea is to be together, to see people I don?t get to see often enough, to watch my children?s face light up when they open that present I stressed out about finding, paying for and wrapping. But whatever your reason for the season, try to keep it in mind.