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Surviving the Holidays
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Surviving the Holidays

By Pamela Shenk, CHt



This is the time of year that many of us think about family and friends and celebrating. With that being said, it is important to take control of yourself during the holidays, before they control you. You don’t want this joyous season to become something you dread, so it is up to you to take the necessary steps to prevent the stress and depression that can arise during the holidays. Plan ahead, be positive, set boundaries, and just go with the flow.


The following are some holiday suggestions that can help you to stay focused, calm and enjoy the season.


Think of others before yourself. If you’re alone – socialize, get involved. No matter how difficult things may be, there is always someone that can use your help. You could volunteer at a hospital or nursing home – even if it is only for an hour or two. One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had during a very difficult holiday season was to prepare food for the homeless. It totally took my mind off myself and allowed me to feel really good that I had done something positive.


Learn to say no. Saying yes, when you should say no can cause you to feel overwhelmed.  Saying ‘no’ really is ok.


Plan ahead. When you plan ahead, you save money and are much more relaxed.  When you leave everything to the last minute, you set yourself up for chaos.


Stay within your budget. If money is a little scarce this year, after planning your menu, if it appears that you are over budget you can either cut out a few things, or tell your guest you would like them to prepare a dish and tell them what you would like them to bring. 


Continue your ‘healthy’ lifestyle. The holidays’ is not an ‘excuse’ for you to go off your program.  It is a wonderful opportunity to show your guests that you can have a wonderful holiday meal prepared with healthy foods and lots of love.


There is no such thing as ‘perfect'. Wanting to be perfects tends to put a lot of stress on you. Everyone has their own perception of what ‘perfect’ might be. So give yourself the opportunity to go with the flow and just have fun.


Last, but not least. Take the time to exercise. This is a great way to relieve stress.


Happy Holidays Everyone and remember to…


Live, laugh and love