Are you one of those people that seems to lose all your inhibitions the minute December hits and struggle to get through the month without spending mornings in the fog of a hangover from the previous night.
Perhaps you struggle with anxiety and the expectations that society, family and friends place on us at this time of year, or maybe you just seem to lose control and overindulge all month only to spend January chastising yourself for it.
Either way, the silly season seems to bring out the silliness in all of us in one way or another, below are some different ways to help reduce the effects the silly season has on all of us.
Put yourself first
During the silly season, we can tend to stretch ourselves a bit thin by agreeing to help out with multiple events. Remember that your own sanity is just as important as everyone else’s and if you are exhausted all month you are just not going to enjoy yourself. Put yourself first and make sure you are only doing things you want to do, don’t offer to help out if you don’t have to and turn down invitations that you don’t really want to go to.
Treat yourself but in moderation
There are multiple times throughout December that celebrate events with amazing food, allow yourself to enjoy the delicious offerings that are available but don’t go overboard. Try to avoid alcohol and rich foods throughout the month and treat yourself to them at events only, treat the month as though it was any other and don’t go back for that second plate that you never normally would. Enjoy the festivities without feeling guilty by moderating what you eat, enjoy the delicious Christmas lunch but don’t mindlessly eat a handful of chocolates just sitting in the bowl on the table in front of you.
Drink water, more than you would drink throughout a normal day. Keep a bottle on you at all times especially when you have parties to go to in the evening. Drink a glass or 2 of water in between each alcoholic beverage to help keep you hydrated and stop you losing track of your alcohol. If you don’t want to be seen drinking water at an event (who cares if your drinking water really) simply ask for a tonic water with a slice of lime, no one will question that it is just water and you can keep your head clear.
Ask yourself what HR would think
At work events, inhibitions can sometimes be thrown out the window, especially when alcohol is added to the mix and you can end up doing something or saying something that will either hurt your reputation and stay with you throughout the rest of your career or upset your boss and jeopardise your position. Remember at all Christmas work events that this is still a work environment and no matter how relaxed the workplace is there is still a code of conduct. Think about what HR would say before you start a certain conversation about a hot topic or decide to have another drink after already having a few. Don’t think of it as a Christmas party think of it as a work event and stay focused on your behaviour.
Think about how you are feeling, is someone asking you to do something or attend something that you just don’t have time for or don’t want to go to. Say no, speak up and don’t feel guilty about turning down offers, use this as a time to assert yourself and only accept a level of responsibility you feel comfortable with.
Avoid possible triggers
Avoid possible triggers that can cause you to spiral out of control (wrapping all the family Christmas presents the night before!!!), these could be family members that you have a hard time dealing with or situations that cause you to act out. If you are attending Christmas lunch and you cannot deal with Grandmother and her probing questions, simply make an excuse to avoid her, feign flu symptoms and sit at the other end of the room to avoid getting her sick too. Find an ally that knows your struggles and can help whisk you away from situations that you cannot handle. Focus your energy on people and events that you are comfortable with and try to enjoy yourself as best as possible.
Look after yourself
Take time to look after both your physical and mental health, if you have time off relax and enjoy yourself. Plan to get outside and do something active, release those endorphins and feel great about yourself. Take some time to think about how you have been treating yourself throughout the year, focus on your mental state and look at different ways you can improve it if need be.
Ask for help
If you are struggling don’t try to hold it all in and do everything on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help you would be surprised how many people are willing to give whatever they can to help throughout Christmas. Don’t feel guilty asking for help, we all need a little assistance at times and there is nothing wrong with that.
Remember it is just another day
At the end of the day, Christmas is just one day out of 365, whilst we do put a lot of emphasis on the day itself it is still just another day. Look after yourself and enjoy the day in anyway that makes you happy!
Remember that the silly season is really just a time to sit back and reflect on the year that has been and what has been accomplished. Enjoy the time and give yourself a pat on the back for making it through another year, think about everything that you struggled with this year, everything you overcame and all the successes you achieved, celebrate yourself and your accomplishments for another year. Refresh your views and prepare for another year with hopes and expectations for what you may achieve.
Do you struggle through the silly season?
What is a tip you use to stay sane?