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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Pudil, LCSW-R

Holiday Survival Guide

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

I, like many people, look forward to the holiday season. We get to see friends and family. Eat wonderful yummy meals and we even might get some presents. However, we can also be left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed out, and sometimes disappointed. So, I developed and survival guide to help you get through the season.

  1. Make sure you are not over-extending yourself with gift-giving and your time. Maybe suggest only getting gifts for the kids and each person picking one adult to buy a gift if your group is large.

  2. Make sure to add time for yourself and self-care to your schedule. Sit down with your schedule and actually put your favorite self-care activities on it. Pick a day and time. Carve it out so that you make sure to fit in the run, face mask, bubble bath, or reading time. This way you will decrease your stress while also giving you a mood and energy boost.

  3. When going to events set a time limit. How long do you want to be at that party or family gathering? How long is long enough for you to participate in the festivities without draining you?

  4. Have realistic expectations about the party/festivity you are going to. If the people you visit always give you a bad gift year after year, you should assume you are going to get another bad gift. They will not magically figure out what you want even if you directly tell them.

  5. If stores are stressful, maybe this year shopping online and having things directly delivered to your loved ones directly is the stress-free answer. Remember to stay within your budget you don’t need the stress of a high balance on your credit card to start the new year.

  6. COVID - this pandemic has been a tough one. It is still here and isn’t going away and now there is a new strain. Please sit with yourself to see what type of celebration are you ok with attending. Do you feel more comfortable with masks on or knowing that everyone is vaccinated? Figure out what you need then find kind language to express your needs to the hosts of the events. If you are not feeling comfortable, you just might want to attend a zoom gathering again this year. It’s ok to express your covid concerns in a non-judgmental way as we all have different boundaries in this pandemic.

  7. Most of all enjoy and have a happy holiday season!! See you in 2022!!


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