With the finals (almost) over, and one semester of (good) grades already safely stored on Edline, you can now relax from the pressures of school and look forward to Christmas. Hopefully you will have time to relax, reflect, and refresh yourselves for the challenges that await you in 2011. However, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times for the family and so here is my guide to surviving the holidays. With the house full of family members, perhaps including siblings who have been away at College, it's possible that so many people packed into a confined space can cause a few frustrations. Plus, if your parents are hosting Christmas celebrations, they too might be under pressure to make this a memorable occasion so here are my tips to make things run smoothly:
- Be aware of how others in the house are feeling. If you sense that they are stressed, ask if there is anything that you can do to help. When we do good things for other people we feel happy also, and so here is a great win-win situation for everyone.
- Enjoy the food! Don't worry too much about possible over-indulgence. You don't want to offend the person who has prepared the food and don't feel guilty about gaining weight. Research that I read recently suggested that most people only put on 1lb at Christmas. However, I also read research that said that 10% of Americans gain 5lb in weight when you include Thanksgiving AND Christmas. I say just enjoy the food. Make healthy choices, take the low fat option if possible and enjoy the protein rich turkey!
- Be safe! With ice and snow predicted, the roads aren't the safest of places at this time of the year. The police will be out in large numbers trying to identify those drivers who might have 'celebrated' a little too excessively so be aware of this. Be careful of other drivers, and please don't accept rides from anyone that you think might have been drinking.
- Christmas offers you a great opportunity for reflection. Take time over the next few weeks to give thanks for all of the great things in your life. You can reflect on those who are no longer with us, and include those that are suffering in your prayers. Enjoy all that your faith has to offer you over this time of religious celebration.
- Finally, set yourself some goals for 2011. What do you hope to accomplish over the next 12 months and how do you hope to do so? What steps can you put in place now to ensure that you are more likely to achieve these goals? Share your goals with your family and encourage them to do the same - this gives you a great opportunity to provide support for each other.
I've had a great 2010 and look forward to all that the New Year has to offer.
Have a wonderful, stress free Christmas with your friends and family!