25 Ways to Find Joy and Balance During the Holidays
Feeling down during the holidays can be tough.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Family
7. Head off problems. Think about what people or situations trigger
your holiday stress and figure out ways to avoid them. If seeing your uncle
stresses you out, skip his New Year’s party and just stop by for a quick hello
on New Year’s Day. Instead of staying in your bleak, childhood bedroom at your
stepfather’s house, check into a nearby hotel. You really have more control
than you think.
8. Ask for help -- but be specific. See if your spouse will lug out
the decorations. Ask your sister to help you cook -- or host the holiday dinner
itself. Invite a friend along on shopping trips. People may be more willing to
help out than you expect; they just need some guidance from you on what to
9. Don’t worry about things beyond your control. So your uncle and
your dad get into a fight every holiday dinner and it makes you miserable. But
remember your limits. You can’t control them. But you can control your own
reaction to the situation.
10. Make new family traditions. People often feel compelled to keep
family holiday traditions alive long past the point that anyone’s actually
enjoying them. Don’t keep them going for their own sake. “Start a new holiday
tradition instead,” says Gloria Pope, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at
the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in Chicago. “Create one that’s more
meaningful to you personally.”
11. Find positive ways to remember loved ones. Holidays may remind
you of the loved ones who aren’t around anymore. But instead of just feeling
glum, do something active to celebrate their memory. For instance, go out with
your sisters to your mom’s favorite restaurant and give her a toast.
Finding the Holiday Spirit: Parties
12. Don’t overbook. “The holidays last for weeks and weeks,” says
Pope. “People really need to pace themselves or they’ll get overwhelmed.” So
don’t say yes to every invitation willy-nilly. Think about which parties and
you can fit in -- and which ones you really want to attend.
13. Don’t stay longer than you want. Going to a party doesn’t
obligate you to stay until the bitter end. Instead, just drop by for a few
minutes, say hello, and explain you have other engagements. The hosts will
understand that it’s a busy time of year and appreciate your effort. Knowing
you have a plan to leave can really ease your anxiety.
14. Have a partner for the party. If the prospect of an office party
is causing holiday stress, talk to a friend and arrange to arrive -- and leave
-- together. You may feel much better knowing you have an ally and a plan of