Q: How can I maintain the energy required to survive the demands of the holiday season?
A: Recognize how the many activities of the season will affect you and your time. Set realistic expectations and identify priorities. Then, as you tackle the increased demands, take time to pace yourself. Build in time for adequate rest, nutrition and relaxation.Q: What can I do to fight the blues during the holidays?
A: Keep things in perspective. If you are feeling blue because you cannot accomplish what you had set out to do during the holiday season or could not please everyone, reexamine your expectations. Focus thoughts and activities on what you can do, not what you can't. Take time to do healthy things for yourself or devote time to causes that involve giving to others. Most importantly, be aware of your feelings. If you continue to feel blue and can't seem to break out of it, ask for help.
Q: What can I do to avoid overeating at parties?
A: Make sure you focus on more than just food. Involve yourself in talking to people and participating in other activities. Make a single trip to the buffet table and always use a plate, rather than snacking at the table. Sometimes it helps to eat healthily before arriving, so you don't arrive too hungry. Most importantly, if you know that you may have difficulty with food at at a party, prepare yourself in advance by looking to a friend or sponsor for support, setting a time limit for being at the party, or perhaps avoid parties that emphasize food and drink only.
Q: I always seem to snap at my loved ones and co-workers during the busy holiday season. How can I avoid this?
A: If you are more irritable and edgy than usual, recognize it as an indication that you are overwhelmed and probably over-stressed. Follow good stress management techniques, like pacing yourself, taking time to relax, reexamining expectations of what needs to be accomplished, delegating tasks, asking for help.
Q: How can I avoid overspending during the holidays? There's so much I want to buy and so many people to please?
A: Trying to please everyone with the perfect holiday gift is a reflection of a need for acceptance and approval from others. Examine your motivation and put gift giving in perspective. Start by accepting yourself as a unique and important individual, worthy of acceptance and love from others, based on who you are, not on the gifts you give. Then select gifts that are within your budget. Don't forget that homemade gifts and gifts of your time can be particularly meaningful to others.
Q: How can I possibly get all my shopping, decorating, baking and socializing done during the holidays?
A: Pace yourself. Recognize your time and energy limitations and set realistic expectations for yourself. Let go of fantasies about "doing it all." Instead, determine what is most important to you and your family and what is not. Then, organize your time, set priorities, delegate. Don't forget to reward yourself for what you have accomplished.
Q: How can I live up to my idea of perfect wife, mother, husband, father, friend, host during the holidays?
A: If you are expecting perfection from yourself, you are destined to fail. Your ideals for perfection are unrealistic expectations of yourself as a human being. Instead, bring your expectations to a more realistic level and give yourself more credit for your ability to juggle your multiple roles and responsibilities. Not being perfect allows you to learn and grow from mistakes and experience more variety in your life.