Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taking Care of Yourself Mentally Over the Holidays!

Are you looking forward to the holidays? For many people, these times are special. Time to re-connect with family and friends. But for some of us, well, they can be close to torture!
Some tips on coping:
  • Recognize if you are an introvert. 25% of the population that needs quiet and alone time to re-charge. Tell people that is what you are doing, and let them know you’ll be back! Take a walk, read a book, talk one-on-one with someone. You’ll come back to the group re-charged.
  • Plan ahead to avoid family conflict. Talk about the gift-giving protocol this year WAY ahead of time. Money is tight for many people, so is this the year to put a dollar limit, or perhaps say only creative and hand made gifts, or draw names from a hat? Or maybe this is the year that everyone donates a fixed amount on someone else’s behalf to the creative charity that best reflects the receiver. Last year I “got” a goat from my mom through Heifer International! I loved it.
  • Plan for Fun. I pulled out the scramble game last night with my son. Unfortunately he is a champion-quality player, so I did not have a chance. But we had a great time. I had forgotten how much fun games are. They mix up the group, draw in all ages, and do what holidays are for—spending quality time together. Stock up on games. I love board and word games, but the Wii station has some hysterical physical games that are great for all ages.
  • Tone down the expectations. Is it really so bad to have paper plates if that means less time in the kitchen and more time playing games and talking? Potluck those special holiday foods, one specialty per family. Last year we all pitched in and bought the core holiday dinner from the local good grocery store and we loved it! The meat was amazing. Better than we would have done for ourselves. And we just had to pick it up.
  • Give of yourself. Does your family have a holiday tradition of giving? Is it time to start one? This could be as simple as taking along plastic bags to pick up trash on the post-dinner walk, or stopping by an isolated person’s house after dinner to drop off some pie and say “Happy Holidays.” When was the last time you went house to house caroling? So much fun. These giving events can be the most memorable part of the holiday.
  • Enjoy! Breathe! Stop to smell the Pine needles! Be grateful for all that you have been given!
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