The holidays are supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many December is one of the most challenging months of the year. If you find the holiday season anxiety-producing, here are a few suggestions to help you cope.

Hints for Enjoying the Holidays

Give yourself a break – During the winter your body is supposed to have less energy. If you’re feeling sluggish and not quite in the holiday spirit — don’t beat yourself up. What you’re feeling is actually healthy! Instead of fighting your body’s impulse to rest, try going to bed a little earlier and sleeping a little later. Or if you’re able, slip in a mid-afternoon nap. I know these can be challenging suggestions to implement, but see if you can sneak in a 20-minute nap in your car in between holiday shopping stops. It may make all the difference in your mood!

Install full-spectrum light bulbs – If the lack of light is getting you down, try putting a full-specturm bulb in the lamp on your desk. It’s not a replacement for the sun, but you may find this simple solution will lift your spirits and your energy level.

Make time for what you love – A great motto to live by any time of year, this is especially important during the winter when your natural energy level is lower and holiday obligations can leave you feeling pressed for time. Make sure you save time for whatever lights your fire, whether it is spending time with loved ones, reading a book before you go to bed or going for a daily walk. If you give yourself time for what you love, you create more energy for the rest of your holiday obligations.

Practice guerilla acupressure – Most people won’t notice you holding acupressure points at the holiday dinner table. Heart 7, or Spirit Gate, which I mentioned in a another post is a lovely, calming acupressure point for the holiday season. 

Another self-soothing technique you can add to your box of tools comes from Jin Shin Jyutsu. If you find your heart pounding before ringing the door bell at your next holiday party, try gently encircling your pinkie finger with the opposite hand (see picture) and taking 10 deep breaths.

Enjoy the holidays and the coming new year!