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Tips for Surviving, and Enjoying, the Holiday Season

November 18, 2019

The holiday season is meant to bring with it a feeling of joy and peace, but for many the holidays are a frantic time that feels more like a never-ending marathon. A new trend may be just the thing you need to help you survive the holidays – the joy of missing out – also known as JOMO.

Bayhealth Primary Care Physician Shailly Saini, MD, says it’s important for patients to practice self-care and not be afraid to say no from time to time, especially around the holidays. This is because the stress of taking on too much can manifest into physical ailments. “Our patients won’t necessarily come in because they’re overwhelmed or stressed, but because they’re having bad headaches, GI issues or trouble sleeping at night,” Dr. Saini said. “It’s through addressing these issues that we begin to see stress can be partially at fault.”

Here are some tips from Dr. Saini to help community members lean into the “joy of missing out” trend so they can not only survive the holidays, but hopefully enjoy them as well.

  1. Don’t try to juggle it all. A common misconception is that we’re all great multitaskers and we can juggle everything; we keep adding things to our to-do list and before we know it, we lose focus and end up not doing anything well. Prioritize what you need to do and don’t take on anything more.
  2. Make a list and stick to it. Write everything down and get organized. This will allow you to focus on what needs to get done.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no and stay home. It’s OK to only go to two of the 10 parties and family gatherings you’re invited to, especially if you’re seeing the same people at each event. There may be feelings of guilt initially, especially with family and friends, but setting healthy boundaries and clearly communicating expectations in advance is better for you.
  4. Budget your finances. Attending all these gatherings and buying gifts can be costly and lead to anxiety issues. Making a budget and sticking to it can ease a lot of stress. There are ways to be resourceful with your finances, too, from being creative about holiday decorations and to donating to a good cause instead of a typical holiday gift.
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. If you’re feeling stressed or lost around the holidays, talk to someone. This could be a family member, friend or spiritual leader. You can also talk to your primary care doctor, who can put you in touch with a counselor or therapist who can help.

“It’s Ok to put yourself first and stop adding more to your plate. Do what’s best for you and what brings you joy,” Dr. Saini said.

If you’ve been following Bayhealth’s #Motivated campaign, make sure to check out the Bayhealth Facebook page every Monday for other tips and advice on surviving the holidays. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to address your anxiety issues, Bayhealth is here to help. Visit Bayhealth.org/Find-A-Doctor or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (229-3627) and you’ll be linked with a primary care physician who can help.