5 Ways to Survive the Holidays When Your Life is Currently a Trainwreck

Every year when the holidays roll around, I look back over holiday seasons past. Some, like when my kids were little, were full of magic and amazing memories. Others, like the year my ex-husband finally left for good, were suck-ass hell-fests. I prefer the magical kind, but we all know not every year is bliss. If you’re in the middle of your own crisis season, here are a few things that might make it a bit more manageable.

Put yourself first. This may seem impossible, especially if you’re a giver and/or have children, but it’s important. Don’t accept invitations to events out of a sense of duty or feel you have to host the whole family for dinner like you always do. “No, thank you” and “I won’t be able to host this year” are perfectly acceptable things to say. Do only those things that will add to your energy, not deplete it.

Let some things go. If it’s a hassle to put up a tree or outdoor lights, forgo those things this year. Get a little prelit tree from ProFlowers or just set out a few decorations. If you can’t stomach another year of dragging the damn Elf on the Shelf all over your house, get someone else to do it or simply forget it all together. Don’t feel like baking 5,000 cookies? Don’t! It’s okay.

Stay hydrated and rested. One of the best things you can do when you’re in crisis or stressed is drink plenty of water and get enough sleep. Carry a water bottle around. Go to bed early with your coziest blanket. (The shorter days help with that.) Both of these things help keep you on an even keel all the time, not just in hard times.

This, too, shall pass. Nothing is permanent in this life, including your feelings. Even the deepest, darkest pain eventually subsides. The holidays can be hard for anyone, but they’re especially difficult when you’re going through a trying situation. Lean on your loved ones as much as you need to, call friends, reach out. So many people have weathered hard storms and would be happy to hold your hand as you weather yours.

Ignore everything I just wrote and just do you. In the long run, you intuitively know what you need and how best to care for yourself during this time. Listen to your mind, body, and spirit. Take heed when they speak to you and let you know what they need. Give yourself the gift of being listened to.

We’re not only moving into a new year, we’re also moving into a whole new decade. Let that be a motivator to shift into whatever it is you’re becoming. Every hardship prepares us to be the next – usually better – version of ourselves.

In the meantime, move through this season the best way you can with the knowledge that better days are coming.

From the writing prompt “5 tips.”

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