Food for Thought: Tips to Ensure Your Holidays Are Happy

By Celia Lambert, PhDfood_for_thought_logo

By now we are well into the holiday season. Our thoughts of meal planning, parties, family gatherings, gift exchange, travel and extra financial burdens can become overwhelming.

If you are filled with anticipation and anxiety, excitement and maybe some depression, you are not alone. It is common to suffer from the holiday blues at this time of year even if you have never been diagnosed with clinical depression.

How can we avoid these common pitfalls this holiday season?

Write it down – If it has to be baked, bought, borrowed or completed before the end of the year, it has to go on a list. If you think about it and don’t write it down it swirls around in your head and can become overwhelming. When you write it down, your mind relaxes trusting it will get done.

Break it down – You need a list for everything. For example, a list of chores you have to do at home and/or at the office. Another list for errands to be run. Another list for what to buy and where to buy it. Break it down further to food items and non-food items. Make another list of phone calls to be made, cards to be sent and thank you notes you’ll want to write.

Give it a time frame – What can be done ahead of time? For example, gift buying, cookie baking and wardrobe choices can all be done ahead of time. Hair, nails and flowers are more last minute. Make sure to make appointments and place orders. Check, confirm and print out information about upcoming events whenever possible. Put it in your calendar.

If you have young ones at home and are hiding presents. Remember where you put them. Wrap as you go to avoid that last minute, late night, gift wrapping on Christmas Eve. Check the gifts off your list as you purchase them.

Take care of yourself – Whatever extra stress the season brings will become more intense if you are not practicing self-care. Make sure you are getting the sleep, exercise and nutrition you need.

Gratitude is one of the best antidotes to depression. Putting a positive twist on everything you think you can will lift you out of negativity and give you a better chance for a happy outcome.

Note to self, you are one person, you don’t have to do it all, your wellbeing is much more important than the stuff you make, buy or bake.

I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season

Celia Lambert, PhD, author, speaker and personal growth coach, works with people who are struggling with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges and PTSD. Helping them create healing, health and happiness in their lives.

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