5 tips to keep your mental health in check while enjoying the holidays
Just in time for the holidays, enjoy this quick read from the creator of the FNL Journal, Teresa Mazzarella!
Happy Holidays from the #FNLjournal team!
We all know how the holidays go: excitement, love, fun, chaos, drama, joy, fights, delays, and the like.
It's like a known unknown: there will always be something that happens over the holidays that will lead to #stress.
Your plane gets delayed. You burn the pie. You get in an argument with your sibling about something totally irrelevant. More people show up than you were expecting.
Whatever it is, I have a few tips and tricks that you can use to keep your head from exploding ;)
First off, you just need to know and accept that things are going to go off-plan. When there are a bunch of people gathered together, no matter what, things will not always go to plan. You have multiple peoples' schedules, preferences, opinions, and personalities all crammed together- there are bound to be some issues. This is why it's so important to keep this in mind, and be prepared for some bumps in the road.
Secondly, you need to plan (alone) time for yourself. Whether you have family in town for a week, or you are just joining a group of friends for the night- you're probably gonna want some time to yourself. Maybe this means you leave the house for a 30 minute walk each day, or even just stepping into the bathroom for 5 minutes when the party gets crazy. Remember, the events will be much more fun if you aren't feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Taking time to ourselves is a great way to keep those feelings at bay.
Another helpful way to keep the stress low during the holidays is to know your role. I dealt with this first hand when I recently had family in town for Thanksgiving. Initially, there was a bit of confusion about who was cooking the turkey (which is kind of an important thing to know), which lead to a bit of a "Teresa might bite your head off if you keep asking her questions" situation- which nobody ever wants to be a part of. To avoid that sort of drama, know what is expected of you during the festivities. For example:
Are you supposed to help cook, or just sit back and relax?
Do you need to bring anything in particular?
Is there a certain timeline that you are expected to follow?
By being on top of these types of questions there is less confusion, less last-minute issues, and more smiling faces.
If you will be spending an extended amount of time with friends or family, another stress-reducing tool is to have some sort of schedule to maintain your personal sense of routine. While my family was here for Thanksgiving, I still kept my workout routine. Not only did it keep me feeling physically well and give me some alone time, it also gave my days a sense of consistency and normalcy. Sometimes, over the holidays, our schedules get completely thrown off and it can take a while to get back into our groove. You can eliminate that issue by staying as consistent to your routine as possible!
If you workout daily, keep doing that!
If you eat breakfast at a certain time, stick to it.
If you do best with 8 hours of sleep, let your family know not to wake you up early.
There are plenty of things you can do, even if you are traveling or somewhat out of your element.
Last but not least, try to #relax and realize that you don't need to control everything. This one may not be applicable to you specifically, but it sure as hell applies to me. Honesty time: I am a control freak. Myself and my whole family knows it- and believe me, they never get tired of teasing me about it. That being said, by acknowledging that I can't and also don't need to control everything (especially when it comes to other people), I'm able to relax a bit more and just let things unfold as they will. Ultimately, the #holidays are about spending time with friends and family, and not about everything going to plan. Keep that in mind ;)
Enjoy your holiday!!