The best thing about the holidays is the power of holiday spirit(s) to foster joy among loved ones. The worst thing is the power of being in close quarters, stressed out about money, and tangled in latent drama to foster bouts of rage and resentment.
There’s a lot that can unravel a girl at Christmas time but, luckily, there are also plenty of ways to keep the Christmas blues at bay. A few of the essentials:
1. Be Preemptive
If you know that your mother’s nagging is going to drive you up the wall, or that you’ll be done with your brother-in-law’s sense of humor by the end of day one, start preparing now. Family members are uniquely talented in getting under your skin, so start neutralizing early this year. Remind yourself what triggers your irritation, and make a point to steer clear of conversations or scenarios that will set you off. You’ll thank us later!
2. Pick a Confidante
You know who we’re talking about. It’s that one cousin you talk to exclusively at the holidays who just gets you. It’s your sister-in-law who always cracks the perfect joke to diffuse your moment of anger. It’s grandpa who sees a lot of himself in you and always takes your side. Maybe it’s the family dog. Find your person (or animal) for the holidays, and remind them that you love them and need them. Just be sure to pay it forward and be the chairman of chill for them or someone else who needs to cope.
A strange thing happens the minute cornucopias and pilgrim figurines start showing up for Thanksgiving: slowly but surely, people start giving up on working out and Eating Season begins. This year, when your waistline is thick and your patience thinning, head out and get your heart pumping for a bit of relief. Elle Woods said it best, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands” ...or anyone else!
....When All Else Fails, Dip
Sometimes the only answer left is to leave a situation. Designate a nearby spot where you can be alone and take the breathing room you need. A peaceful park or coffee shop can be the perfect place to listen to some music, have a good, long think, and return to neutral before heading back into the holiday thick.