Seven Ways to Survive the Holidays

Many of us find it challenging to deal with all the busyness of the holiday period, and although it can be very enjoyable, it can also be stressful, and it’s easy to eat and drink too much as well. That leads to new year’s resolutions which don’t often succeed!

Stress, excess weight, and hangovers are worth avoiding, and luckily, it’s not hard to do.

Here are seven ways to enjoy the holiday period, and enter the New Year feeling even better.

Plus one crucial idea that makes all the difference in the world …

Say No

Even to family! If meeting up with your relatives is always a challenge, why put yourself through it? Sometimes family members use emotional blackmail to get you to either buy expensive presents, or attend gatherings you don’t enjoy. Or both. Don’t fall for such pressure.

As wonderful as families can be, don’t let them con you into doing something you don’t enjoy. What’s the point? It’s far better to offer a good example, by not spending too much on gifts or food, or going to events you don’t enjoy. That benefits nobody. Maybe it’s time to try something new?

Drink Less Alcohol

It’s easy to drink too much during the holiday season, but you’ll put on a lot of weight, have hangovers to deal with, and might behave in ways you regret later on. This isn’t news.

Why not try something different to drink? If you like the fizzy taste, don’t go for soft drinks, as they’re full of sugar and other unhealthy things. Instead, try kombucha, which tastes similar, but is good for your digestion. Try it by yourself, so you can find a flavour that works for you. Another good low calorie tasty option is coconut water. Simple natural options that don’t cause trouble.

Move More

It doesn’t have to be hardcore exercise for hours on end. All movement burns calories, and helps keep joints and muscles in good shape. Just getting up from a chair every hour or so helps. So does going for a walk, walking upstairs regularly, and many other things.

Take a frisbee outside, throw a ball around, swim, try something new. Go dancing, or just dance at home, either alone or with friends. It doesn’t have to take long, it doesn’t have to cost anything, and can be great fun as well! We evolved to move regularly, and function best when we do so.

Give up Gift Giving

Many gifts cost a fair amount, and end up being forgotten pretty quickly. Sometimes they’re not even appreciated! Why not give an experience instead? Maybe a voucher for back rub, or a IOU to do clean their car? Or tickets to a film at the cinema? Get creative, ask google for more ideas!

Such experiences are often remembered for a long time, much longer than things that end up discarded or stuck in cupboards or garages. Sharing experiences also helps improve relationships, which seems to match the season. How could you creatively show your love to those you love?

Do Less

One of the biggest causes of stress in the holidays is doing too much to entertain, and accepting too many invitations. While it can be nice relaxing with family and friends, trying to fit in too many things can cause stress or tempers to rise. Sometimes it’s best to cut back a little, to avoid rushing.

Peace of mind and joy often come from not cramming as many things as possible into life, and will result in less overeating, and saving money as well. One secret to a happy life is having the time and space to enjoy it, rather than trying to fit as much as possible into every single moment.

Focus on what Matters

It’s easy to get distracted by the most fashionable gifts, and the fanciest events, but is that what’s really important? Maybe it’s spending quality time with family and friends, especially if we’ve been too busy the rest of the year? Enjoy all those relaxing things you never had time before!

Whether we’re Christian or not, Jesus taught some wonderful things about love and caring. If we focus a little more on those, and a little less on spending and rushing around, we’ll be able to have a more enjoyable and less stressful time over the holidays.

Be Grateful

Sometimes when people tell us to feel grateful, we resist, as it feels like we’re being pressured to feel something we don’t feel. I’m only recommending it because it feels good. So we benefit anytime we choose to feel grateful. And we can. Anytime.

Sure, sometimes it’s harder to be grateful than normal, but there’s always something to be grateful about. Living in a peaceful country, having good friends, having enough to eat, the joys of nature, pets, the list goes on. If we just stop our striving and struggling, even more things come to mind.

Feeling grateful doesn’t mean we can’t work to improve our lives. We can do both. If we do both, it makes our journey more enjoyable, no matter what we manage to achieve. Life isn’t about achievement, it’s about joy and love. What’s the point achieving anything if we can’t enjoy it?

The Holiday Period doesn’t have to be a Challenge!

Which one of these ideas appeals to you the most? Start exploring and practising that one, and see how you go. Maybe try a different one tomorrow, and cycle through them all over the holiday break. Who knows, maybe you’ll create some healthy new habits you want to keep practising all year around? A nice rewarding New Year’s Resolution via joy and ease. What could be better?

It will save you from the usual decline, dementia, and disappointment in your later years.

What’s the one crucial idea that makes all the difference in the world? This: don’t give into peer pressure! The above ideas will probably cause resistance from those closest to you. It’s easy to just give in, to keep the peace. But if you do that, you’ll never make any decisions for yourself. You’ll remain trapped by them. Forever.

Stand strong, make your own decisions, and remember: anybody worth spending time with won’t try to pressure you into doing what they want. Real friends support and encourage and celebrate you. Always!

Ed Love is a Life Coach, specialising in health and fitness, love and relationships. You can sign up at half price for his four week course Robust Health At Any Age at the following website: