Staying Sane Over the Holidays

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza…and New Year’s — How do we stay sane?


1. Ask for help: This is probably one of the best ways to stay sane. You may have been raised with the idea that it is best to do everything yourself, that you are the best person to do it all, and, you have to do it perfectly.

Well…These ideas are not necessarily accurate. Doing everything yourself is stressful, often overwhelming and usually does not create good feelings toward other people. So, this year, one way to make the holidays less stressful and more fun is to ask for help. There are other people in your life-partners, friends, siblings, parents, even children and they can all help. Ask them and remember that they will probably feel happier for being asked and getting a chance to be involved!

2. Be real: Maybe this time of year would be a great time to start owning up to your true energy and your true needs. Being honest with others and telling them that you can only do “so much” might bring you greater closeness with the people you love.  It will give you a sense of relief. Instead of performing and communicating a false “Everything is well” message, you’ll be sharing your truth. That brings breathing room and also invites other people to share their needs as well

3. Listen to your body: Our bodies tell us what is going on with us. So, listen. What message is your body giving you? Is it saying, “I can’t do this anymore? I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I need a nap. I need a break. I need to go for a walk in the woods. I need acupuncture, etc.” Rather than pushing through, listen to the message your body is giving youand do what your body is telling you to do. Taking care of your body will give you more energy. And, it will help you to feel emotionally recharged as well!

As the mother of a three year old, I was often exhausted. I learned to tell my daughter that she could play quietly beside me while I took a nap. I always felt better afterwards and had more energy to give to her and whatever else I had to do.

4. Take care of yourself: continue to eat!  Remember: our bodies need to be fed. Don’t stop eating from feeling too busy. Food helps us to stay centered, energized, and nourished.

5. Say yes to yourself: This year my sister and mother surprised the rest of us with their plans for the Christmas season. They were going on a weeklong meditation retreat. This information was a bit of a shock for the rest of us. But, soon, we created other plans. It freed all of us up. So, if not this year, maybe next year, you can say ‘Yes” to a dream of yours. Maybe you can go on a trip to Paris (my dream) or stay local for the holidays or anything else that appeals to you for the holiday season.