Surviving "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

sad dog

Let's face it, sometimes the most wonderful time of the year is also the "most stressful time of the year.” This is especially true for women. Sorry, guys, but once the lights are up outside, most of the work for the holidays is done by women.

Too often, we want everything to be perfect. Guess what? It doesn't have to be. My motto is “do the best you can.” That's enough. Don't kill yourself or make yourself (or everyone else) miserable. The "best you can" is different for everyone. You don't have to do everything that your mother or sister or neighbor down the street does. Do what's right for you, and be realistic. You can't do everything. Decide what's most important to you and your family and keep it simple. That way both your family and you get to enjoy the holiday! After all, it's your holiday too.

So, rule number one is:
Set realistic goals and try to stay organized.

Rule number two:
Give yourself permission to enjoy the holidays. Go, go, go brings too much stress, stress, stress. Learn to relax and enjoy.

Rule number three:
Exercise. And no, shopping does not constitute exercise no matter how many shopping bags you are carrying! Vacuuming does not qualify either. Try walking, stretching, swimming, weights, yoga, pilates or whatever you prefer. This will help clear your head as well as help your body.

Rule number four:
Don't overindulge. Keep your meals healthy with lean protein, whole grains and lots of vegetables. Have fruit for a snack. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. If you do all that, an occasional gingerbread cookie or piece of fudge won't hurt.

Rule number five:
Take good care of your skin. You feel better when you look better! Be sure to moisturize, drink your water and humidify the house. Treat yourself to a facial and good skin care products.

Rule number six:
Get plenty of sleep. Your mind and body need this.

Rule number seven:
It's better to give than receive. The holidays are the perfect time to help your fellow man/women/children/animals/environment. Even just a smile and holding the door for someone can brighten some one's day. With any luck, the person you helped will do the same for the next person.

So, get out there and try to depressurize the holidays. Have fun -- and remember what the holidays are all about. 

Dr. Linda Razbadouski, MD is an Internal Medicine Physician at SwedishAmerican’s North Main Clinic and InnovaMed Aesthetics.