Wondering what to include in your holiday survival kit this year? The holiday season featuring Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa should be a fun-filled opportunity to connect with family and friends. Sadly, that isn’t always the case.
A survival kit traditionally was used to keep you alive if you found yourself alone in the wilderness. From first-aid, some extra food to tools for building a shelter, this handy kit could be a matter of life and death in a tough situation.
Thankfully, most of us won’t be facing a life-and-death struggle this holiday season. That doesn’t mean this time of the year comes without its share of hazards, though. For many, the stress of the holidays can be overwhelming.
If you find yourself lost alone in the “wilderness” this season, here are some items to keep in your holiday survival kit. A little planning now can make a big difference later.
Keep up Your Regular Routine During the Holidays
Your daily routine is incredibly important to your overall physical, mental and spiritual wellness in any survival situation. That said, there are plenty of things that come up during the holidays that could derail your routine.
Some of the challenges of the holidays include busier-than-normal schedules such as family gatherings and company Christmas parties, interrupted work schedules and diminished daylight hours.
Do your best to keep up daily health practices that you use the rest of the year. Doing so is all the more important this time of the year. Unfortunately, this is also the most common time for these health-enhancing activities to fall by the wayside.
If you take regular walks or practice consistent strength training, continue doing so over the holidays. Keeping a comparable sleep schedule and allowing time for leisure activities such as “fun reading” are also important.
Moderation is the Centerpiece of Your Holiday Survival Kit
One of the first things to go out the window during the holidays is moderation. Basically, we struggle to maintain a balanced life. In order to keep the correct life balance, you’ll have to take charge. The Mayo Clinic’s article entitled, “Stress, Depression and the Holidays: Tips to Cope” shares:
“Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.”
What are some areas we tend to struggle in when it comes to holiday moderation? Here are a few:
· The right amount of holiday gatherings
· Healthy eating (both the kinds of foods eaten and how much)
· The amount of time with people versus alone time
· Work versus resting time
While there’s no way to completely avoid an abnormal schedule, it’s important to strive for life balance or moderation.
If you make moderation a priority, this likely won’t mean your results will be perfect. However, they’ll be much better than if you hadn’t made life balance a priority for the holidays.
Keep the “People Over Materialism Mindset” in Your Holiday Survival Kit
Possibly more than any other time of the year, we all need the reminder that people are more important than material things.
The holidays are, first and foremost, a time to connect with others. Although there’s the constant pressure to buy more and more, deep down, we all know that’s not what it’s about.
Make a point to value the people in your life including yourself. Value the person you don’t know who’s also looking for a parking spot or who’s taking your lunch order. In the pursuit of gifts, don’t lose sight of the greatest gifts of friends and family, either.
The reality is that those closest to you need you more than your gifts. Be sure to accumulate happy holiday memories instead of merely accumulating material possessions.
If You’re Having a Tough Time, Seek Help This Holiday Season
Someone stuck in the wilderness needs a way to ask for help in their survival kit. In the same way, seeking mental help is an important part of your holiday survival kit. Think of it as your “signal flare”.
If you were stuck alone in the wilderness with a broken leg, for instance, a signal flare would help others locate you so they could bring you to safety.
If you’re feeling emotionally broken this holiday, don’t forget to use your “signal flare”. Be sure to reach out for the assistance you need. We all need help from time to time and there’s no shame in that.
You can schedule an appointment with The Valencia Relationship Institute and find evidence-based ways to handle the holiday stress.