christmas dog

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Well, it’s that time of year again! Although the Christmas holidays are meant to be a time to reconnect with our families, relax and celebrate, we all know that they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. So here are my top 5 tips for surviving the holidays

1. Don’t worry about weight gain

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, it’s common to put on a little weight. My policy is, don’t worry about it! A little weight gain will easily drop off again, and it’s all right to indulge (within reason) during the holidays. So don’t worry too much about your diet or your waist line. These holidays only come once a year, so make a conscious decision to relax your rules for a couple weeks. Just don’t forget to get back on the wagon when January comes around!

2. Don’t forget to take time for yourself

The holidays can be extremely busy, especially if you have friends and family visiting and kids home from school. The busier you are, the more you need to take time out for yourself. It may seem impossible, but trust me, you need to make this a priority. Taking 15 minutes to meditate every morning will give you greater capacity for handling the rest of your day. Without some quiet time to yourself, you’re more likely to end up going through your holidays stressed out and grumpy, getting annoyed with everyone, instead of enjoying your time with friends and family.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff

It’s all right if your house isn’t perfectly in order. It’s all right if your turkey is a little over cooked. It’s all right if everything isn’t perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Focusing on every little thing can ruin your holidays, so don’t do it! Instead, focus on what’s important and let go of everything else. Learn to laugh at the little things that go wrong.

4. Don’t sweat the big stuff

Holidays are unfortunately a time when family and relationship issues can rear their ugly heads. I know there are plenty of movies where families all work out their issues at Christmas and have a wonderful happy ending, but that’s not real life. The reality is, the stress of the holidays can stir up long-term underlying issues; this is even more likely if this is the only time of the year you spend with your family. The holiday season is not the time to drag the big stuff out of your emotional closet. If you want to sort out these issues, take the time to address them properly and get outside help where needed, during a quieter period. These deeper issues require time and effort to resolve, and you’re not likely to find a quick resolution during the stress of the holiday season.

5. Have fun

Above all, remember to have fun! Don’t get caught up in all the stress and running around of the holidays and forget to enjoy yourself. Remember what the holidays are about, and choose to celebrate!
So that’s my top 5 tips for surviving the holidays. Do you agree or disagree with anything I have said? What else would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them below!