by Deborah Serani, Psy.D.
I came across this post from author Lucy MacDonald and her blog Positive Perspectives. I think it has such great information, I asked if I could post it here.
"Whatever holiday is on your calendar in December - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa - it is sometimes is a challenge to stay positive in the midst of the commercialism and general hub-bub.Here are a few ways to stay positive during the holidays:
1. Avoid overscheduling yourself. Use an agenda to keep track of your holiday commitments so that you can physically see what you are committing yourself to. Along with your commitments to others make sure to include some downtime for yourself - even if it is half an hour here and there. Knowing that you have some personal time will help you to stay positive.
2. Lower your expectations don’t strive for perfection, good enough is okay.Don’t expect your family to be perfect during the holidays. Be realistic about who they are and what your relationship is like with them all year around. That is especially true of step-families.
3. Make a budget and stick to it. The price of the gift is not equal to how much you love them. Focus on the people that you care about instead of the stuff that really doesn’t matter. Beware of the joy-to-stuff ratio: more stuff does not equal more joy.
4. Spread your socializing in the months after the holidays. Don’t try to pack a year’s worth of socializing into a few weeks. Start a new tradition with friends and make a date with friends for mid January or early February.
5. Get as much sleep as you can. Schedule one or two pajama days for yourself or for the whole family - stay in your pj's and stay home and give yourself permission to rest and enjoy some time together without rushing about.Holidays are for celebrating what is truly important to you, your family, and friends. Make it the holiday you want it to be and chances are you will keep a positive attitude. "
I think that this is just great advice to get off the "dreadmill" , as Lucy MacDonald says.
Check out her book, Learn to Be an Optimist, for even more positive ways of coping!