BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Holiday Survival Guide

Posted by egehl on December 24, 2009

OK I will admit it, I have been a total scrooge this holiday season.  Every year the holidays seem to creep up out of nowhere and this year was no different.

If you’re like me and need some prodding to feel a bit jollier this holiday season here is some advice on how to survive and enjoy the holidays:

1. Relish the time off:  Most people will get two long weekends over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday so take advantage of it.  Rest.  Relax.  Regroup for 2010.  If you aren’t traveling it’s a nice time to do nothing at home or be a tourist in your own town.

2. Enjoy the gift of giving:  It’s hokey, but true.  Giving is better than receiving and enjoy the process (of course after you battle all of the crazy stores).

3. Treat yourself:  Use the holiday time to treat yourself whether that’s getting a pedicure or going to one of the many wonderful movies coming out this week. 

4. Volunteer:  If you have time, help out those less fortunate.  Volunteering is a wonderful way to remind yourself how lucky you are. 

5. Try to see the glass half full rather than half empty:  While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, for many it can bring up feelings of loneliness, loss or what’s absent.  If possible try to dwell on the positives and blessings in your life rather than what’s missing.  However it’s natural to have many emotions during the holidays so don’t put unreasonable pressure on yourself that you must always feel happy.

6. Use the time to reflect on the current year and plan for the upcoming year:  The holiday season is an opportune time to think about the past year and reflect on the good, and not so good, that happened.  Use this quiet period to plan for the coming year to think about your goals and how you want to accomplish them. 

7. Think about year-end strategies for a happier tax return:  This is the least fun piece of advice however thinking about it early will help you during the fast approaching tax time.  Give those last donations, maximize contributions to company-sponsored plans, estimate your income and deductions, and get your records in order.  

8. Exercise:  Exercise is important year round but especially during the holidays.  Physically it will work off some of those delicious holiday cookies, but more importantly mentally it will alleviate stress and the endorphin boost will be a welcome mood lifter.

9. Moderation:  Be aware of the increased accessibility to sugar, caffeine, and alcohol during the holidays and guard against overuse of these substances.  Moderation is the name of the game. 

10. Enjoy the people you love:  The holidays are a wonderful way to remind the people you love why they are special.  We don’t always stop and recognize their role in our lives and now is a great time to acknowledge their importance to you.

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