10 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Every year the holidays roll around, many people are faced with a mixed sense of anticipation and dread leading them to experience nervousness and anxiety. Loneliness and depression can be triggered by a loved one being gone or diagnosed with a major illness or mental disorder. Hosting, being invited or not being invited to a holiday gathering may also invoke social phobias, conduct disorders, or PTSD in you or a family member.

Here are suggestions to stay relaxed, maintain a healthy state of mind and enjoy the festivities.

1. Accept the world is changing. Our loved ones may get older or struggle with an illness but realize change is a part of life.

2. Practice patience. Ask yourself if there is a higher purpose to the family interaction or dynamic. Even a negative experience can offer life lessons.

3. Be creative and humorous. Respond to inappropriate behavior or questions by tactfully changing the topic, laughing or going for a walk to diffuse the awkwardness.

4. Be consistent. Adhere to a strict daily routine of sleep, exercise, and a nutritional diet. Obtain thyroid, hormone and adrenal blood tests prescribed by your doctor so you have optimal health.

5. Learn something new. Classes, workshops and lectures activate serotonin and dopamine levels and invoke a level of relaxation and well being. Take a friend with you.

6. Write your one-page miracle. Write down what you want and what you are doing to make it happen. When you tell your brain what you want, your brain will help you match your behavior to get it. (Tanaamen.com/one-page-miracle)

7. Take a break and gain focus. Boost memory, focus, mood, and energy with visualization, hypnosis, meditation, brain games, and deep breathing.

8. Give simple gifts. Choose plants, ingredients for a yummy meal, or a date for coffee, walk or yoga class to complete your gift list with ease.

9. Use ‘yes’ strategically. If you are feeling overwhelmed, pace and prioritize what events are important and only attend those that are. Remember to allow time to just relax.

10. Practice generosity. Volunteer, be part of the community and give back. Notice the positive feelings that arise with an altruistic act. Find opportunities online at VolunteerMatch.org.

Alicya Simmons, M.B.A., Certified Hypnotist and NLP Master, and Florida Affiliate of Dr. Daniel Amen Clinics, practices hypnosis for individuals and family systems and groups. For more information or an appointment, call 407-399-0608, email Alicya@AlicyaSimmons.com or visit AlicyaSimmons.com

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