4 Tips to Get You Through Your Next Holiday Event

You Can Survive The Holidays — Here’s How

Ah, the holiday season. It’s a time full of meaningful traditions, connection with loved ones, fun social events and festivities… and plenty of exhaustion and stress.

The parties can be a particularly intense source of overwhelm. Over the years, I’ve seen many of my patients struggle to “keep it together” as they attend office parties, family events, and other social obligations. Thankfully, no matter what event is next on your agenda, there’s a way to survive it with these tips and tricks.

  

1. Which events do you have to attend?

It’s unlikely that you have to attend every single party you’re invited to, and there’s no reason you should! Attendance at some events is important, but you can choose which events those are.

For example, your workplace’s holiday event might be an important one to attend. You can socialize with coworkers outside of business hours and build stronger relationships. But, perhaps you can skip that old acquaintance’s ugly sweater party.

It’s a great way to practice saying, “No, thank you” and setting boundaries. To alleviate some of the guilt, send a nice card or gift to the host.

  

2. Make a plan

Now that you know which holiday events you’ll attend, make a plan for how you’ll get through them. Stress doesn’t own you, and you can manage it.

That means making a list of the things that go into holiday events and planning when they’ll get accomplished: shopping for and making a dish to pass, choosing an outfit, finding a babysitter, and anything else that needs to get done. If you’re organized and proactive much of your stress can be diminished.

  

3. Give yourself something to look forward to after the event

If you know you’ll be drained after a party or event, plan something that you really want to do for the following day or week.

Is there anything you love to do that tends to get sidelined during the holiday season? Doing things we love is important to overall mental health and wellbeing, so don’t push those things to the backburner all season long.

It can be as simple as blocking out time on a Sunday afternoon to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book or going for a long walk with your dog. The key is to have a plan to do something that makes you smile.

  

4. Acknowledge your feelings

It’s also important to acknowledge your feelings about holiday events. Once you understand how you feel it’s easier to ask yourself why you feel that way, too, which is always a good thing to do.

Remember, it’s okay to feel stressed. It’s perfectly normal to feel guilty about declining some of the holiday party invites you receive. If you need to spend time alone after a people-filled event, do so.

Just try not to make yourself feel worse by ignoring how you feel. You’ve already improved the situation by planning ahead and implementing certain boundaries, and that’s something to feel good about, for the holiday season and year-round.

  

Our caring therapists are here to help you overcome challenges during the holiday season and beyond! Contact us today!