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Surviving the holidays

When I was a teenager I wasn’t always super excited about the holidays. I really looked forward to sleeping in and not having to go to school, but the multiple family gatherings and lack of a schedule made me nervous. Here are some tips on what I’ve found to be helpful during the holidays!  

  1. Sleep in, but set your clock. Sleeping in is awesome but even on the days I do plan on sleeping in I set my alarm clock for like 11am. That way I can sort of plan my day in my head and not wake up later than I wanted to. Sometimes when I don’t set my clock I wake up at like 1pm and kick myself because I wanted to have more time to do stuff in the afternoon. Even a more relaxed schedule than usual is enough of a break as opposed to throwing schedules out the window. You’ll thank yourself when your holidays are over and you realize you got some of the things done that you’d hoped to. 
  2. Learn a new skill. Two Christmases ago my mom taught my how to knit and I loved it not only because I could make practical things like scarves and whatnot but because I had something to do when family gatherings dragged on or I was bored while watching the obligatory Christmas movies. As long as you stay involved with the people around you there is no rule saying you can’t multitask! Keeping my hands busy is a huge way for me to de-stress.
  3. Go for a walk. This is a great way to get out of the house and have a breather during family events. Walking the dog is a great excuse! The streets are quieter and the snow and colourful lights are a treat to witness. I always feel like I’m in a Christmas movie when I walk past houses and can see people around their tree indoors. 
  4. Celebrate the year in unique ways. Forabout three years now I’ve kept a notebook where I document each year as it winds up. I try to remember all the books that I read that year and glue in any movie ticket stubs I have lying around. I take screenshots of my favourite iTunes playlists and print them out. I glue them in my book so that when I’m older I can remember what I liked listening to in 2010, for example. It’s neat because when you listen to music it can sometimes transport you back in time to when you first discovered it and this way you’ll know exactly what year your memories are from. These lists and collections can also be done as the year goes on – start new lists for 2011! Buy a notebook somewhere and start setting it up now. is also a great site for keeping lists and recordings and even sharing them with others.
  5. Be gentle with yourself when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. It’s great to set goals for the upcoming year but don’t try to do too much all at once or you’ll set yourself up for failure. Aiming to eat healthier is a great idea but don’t promise yourself to do it ALL the time because just one small setback can make you discouraged enough to give up on your goal entirely. Break your goals into smaller more attainable pieces. For example, aim to choose fruit or vegetables over other snack foods three days a week. If you already do that, you can set the bar higher but be realistic with what’s achievable. Make sure to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and give yourself a reward for meeting your goals, too.  

So those are some tips on what help me get through the holidays. What do you plan on doing this year? Leave us a comment on what you do to cope – maybe it will help someone else out, too!