The holidays often bring a range of emotions. For many people it’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, for others, feelings of loss and sadness prevail. Seeing family and friends may be a source of excitement, or it may conjure up unwanted memories.
Many people find that when they spend time with their family they revert to teenage behaviour all over again, with arguments and disagreements ruining the occasion. Others feel lonely and abandoned during the festive season, especially if they have lost someone they love. For those going through a divorce or separation, the holiday period can represent an even more difficult time.
Anxiety and depression are common at this time of year. Parties, dinners and gatherings all put extra stress on us, and for those whose lives are going through turbulence, it can be particularly hard to cope.
Here are ten holiday survival tips that we help you to stay on track this year.
1. Stick To A Regular Routine
Changing your routines often leads to extra stress. Make time to exercise when you usually would, attend meetings as usual and eat a normal diet whenever possible.
2. Have Moderation In Mind
It’s all to easy to eat and drink too much at this time of year, however you should avoid overindulging. Although drinking and eating to excess may make holiday blues feel temporarily better, they often lead to feeling guilty.
3. Have Realistic Expectations
TV adverts and movies give you an idealised vision of what we should expect of the festival season, and this only leads to disappointment. Have realistic expectations and remember that no one has the perfect family or the perfect holiday.
4. Stay In Touch
Make time in your plans to see family or friends who are important to you. If nobody who values you lives nearby, give your loved ones a call, and always ask them for support whenever you feel you need it.
5. Forget Guilt
It’s important to avoid putting yourself under unreasonable pressure to rejoice and feel happy. Also, avoid overanalysing the interactions you have with others. Be kind to yourself this festive season.
6. Don’t Stay Alone If That’s Not What You Want
If you’re worried about having to spend the holiday on your own, consider volunteering. There are lots of charities which are glad of help this time of year, from soup kitchens to old peoples’ homes. You’ll not only feel a better sense of self-worth but you’ll also have company.
7. Don’t Focus On The Past
If you’re spending the holidays with old friends or family members, you run the risk of becoming the person you were in the past and not the person you are today. If you find you’re reverting to your old childhood pattern of behaviour, walk away and take the time to remember the person you are today.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
You shouldn’t be afraid to refuse if somebody asks you to do more than you feel you’re able. It’s ok to decline invitations and to just say no if someone asks for a favour. You’re allowed to enjoy the holiday too!
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Others For Help
The holidays are a key time when people try to do more than they’re able. It’s perfectly find to ask others for help. Whether you need support with shopping, decorating, cooking, or whether you just need someone to listen to you, just ask.
10. Be Kind To Yourself
When you’re feeling down over the holidays, why not pamper yourself? Take the time to do the things you enjoy and that feel good. Spend some time by yourself if you want – it’s your holiday as well.
Remember when the going gets tough that the holiday season only lasts a couple of weeks. Follow these ten top tips and you’ll hopefully find that this year is less stressful and more joyful.
If you need help with a divorce or separation this holiday season call The Divorce Manager on 0800 294 0452 to book your FREE consultation.