How to stay sane during the holidays: A survival Guide
December, and the holidays therein, has always been the worst for me when it comes to my anxiety issues. (This includes a week long panic attack a couple of years ago.) I know the underlying causes of this for me personally, but it does not make the anxiety less, or help mitigate the issue. I am realizing, though, that many others also suffer from holiday anxiety. So I am going to share how I am making the holidays work for me this year. It may not work for everyone, but this is my approach, and at least it may help you come up with your own holiday survival plan.
1) Reward Board! - The lovely JoAnna Devoe of The Kickass Witch introduced me to the concept of the Reward Board, and I love it. The idea is that you set yourself daily goals for the month, and then set yourself a Reward if you are able to meet these goals. For me, as you can see below, I wanted to have a creative month. In that spirit I made goals to blog, make art, craft, write poetry, and to dance. Also I set a daily goal of taking at least one photo, and making a list of 10 things that I am tahnkful for. My thought was to keep myself from getting too far into my head by keeping myself in a creative spirit. It is working so far.
2) Enjoy the moment! - Yeah, that sounds corny as hell, but if you are like me you are up to your neck in Holiday parties, dinners, sales, etc. including some that you are holding yourself. It can become incredibly overwhelming very quickly. Which has led me to make a couple of decisions this year.
- I am allowed to politely decline any invitation I choose.
- Perfection does not equal fun, or holiday cheer. If you don't get all the holiday decorations up, or whatever, no one will notice but you. At some point you have to say Fuck It and just enjoy people's company.
- Be there, be engaged, be joyful.
- If you get overwhelmed you are allowed to leave, or for that matter to ask people to leave.
3) You are the maker of your own holiday cheer. - Laugh. Sing carols at the top of your lungs. Dance around your house. Kiss someone. Give long full hugs to everyone you can. Drink hot chocolate. Take a walk to look at holiday lights. Make a 2016 Dumpster Fire Ornament (here). Do whatever makes you happy, because that is the point. Be happy.
Things don't make a good holiday. Perfection doesn't make a good holiday. Amazing moments, happiness, friends, family, love...does.
Stay sane my friends.