Holiday Survival Guide Ideas

The holidays can be a wonderful time, but they can also be a stressful time.   We asked our staff for their best tips for surviving the holidays.  

For a few years when my children were young, I questioned “tradition”: Things I believed I was obligated to do to “celebrate” the holiday season.  I started letting go of things for a year, to see how it impacted our family life. Some traditions returned, and some permanently disappeared. Something I let go of for good was writing and mailing Christmas cards. While I don’t get many Christmas cards anymore, I feel less stressed, less anxious, and I am able to be more fully engaged in the moment, rather than sitting and writing cards to people I may never see again. 

Once the dark nights start falling, I light candles every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. It softens the brightness and busyness of the outside world, and marks the end of one week, the beginning of the next. #wicklight

When in doubt at the holiday table where anything might be said: Talk movies, shows, and books. If you stay on the topic of the movie, show or book, you may be able to keep things calm(ish). If someone mentions something that could be a trigger, mention Succession! That’ll change the subject! 

My way of surviving the holidays is by saying ‘no’ to things so I can spend more quiet time with my family and animals. It actually feels good to stay still while the world is madly turning. 

If you feel triggered and anxious at a family gathering, go do the dishes. It works for me. 

I feel that this time of year can be so stressful. It has always helped me to think in terms of giving, especially to those in need.

How to survive the dark month of December? I get outside and exercise on a daily basis – hiking, biking or walking. My mind feels clearer, my body less anxious, and my soul, nourished.