Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Survival Guide

This is a re-post from last year.

The holidays can be a particularly lonely time for people. Even for those who look forward to the holidays, they can still be overwhelming. The following is a list of some things that may be helpful.

* Create/buy an especially thoughtful gift for someone who has supported or helped you.

* Do the above for someone random- a person on the street, pick an address from the phone book, or a needy family.

* Donate to charity. Clean out your closet and give what you don’t need to a local shelter.

* Volunteer. Help out in soup kitchens or with the red cross. Spend time with the elderly who might not have family visiting.

* Breathe. Holidays are chaotic and you may be forced to spend time in the company of people you dislike. Take time for yourself. Leave the party to go for a quiet walk. Find an empty room where you can read a book for a while. Sit in your car and listen to music for a few minutes.

* Be nice to people you don’t like.

* Host a dinner for a few people you are close to. Cooking for other people can be very therapeutic (in my case, this oftentimes leads to food poisoning, but the activity of cooking and sharing is still a positive event).

* Take a trip. I don’t encourage people to avoid difficulties, but sometimes you need a break so why not take that trip to Paris during the holidays?

* Exercise. This is something I always recommend, but the holidays can be especially lethargic times so it is important to maintain your exercise regime. Going for a run can also get you of a crowded, or empty, house.

* Make sure you have enough medication if your doctor will be taking time off.

* Remember, you don’t have to listen to Christmas music. At times this may be unavoidable, but in your home you can listen to whatever you like, even on Christmas morning. Some people may weary of the holiday music that is played in stores as early as November 1, so listen to your ipod while shopping.

* Do not feel obligated to anyone to do anything.

* Avoid alcohol.

* Eat nutritious foods as well as the delicious ones. And eat in moderation.

* If people start bickering, say something nice about them or someone they are talking about.

* Accept gifts graciously.

* Keep an emergency plan in place. Know where the hospital is if you’re out of town. Keep a list of friend’s numbers or call lines.

* Don’t abandon your regular activities. Keep doing all the things you normally do to stay healthy.

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