The holidays are upon us and it’s full steam ahead for a long season packed with lavish galas, office parties and get-togethers with close friends and family. No matter how much you look forward to the merriment, life isn’t always like a Norman Rockwell painting and even the happiest, most well-adjusted people may discover challenges around every corner. Instead of feeling jolly, many people are isolated, anxious and depressed.
Attitude is Everything
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important when life becomes a whirlwind of holiday travel and extravagant parties, but it’s important to manage your expectations.
If you’re absolutely convinced you won’t have a good time without getting drunk, you’re right. If you’re sure that tension at work will stress you out, or that family responsibilities will drive you crazy, you’re likely to be exhausted by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around.
On the other hand, if you can set your worries, complaints and grievances aside, you’re bound to have a happier, more relaxed holiday season, even in spite of potential minefields that may lie ahead.
As silly as it may sound, make an effort to find joy in the simple things like twinkle lights or the smell of fresh pine. Remember that the season will end before you know it and life will pick up exactly where you left off. You may just carry those positive feelings into the New Year.
Practice the Art of being Finicky
Don’t feel obliged to attend every event that comes your way, no matter how spectacular. It’s okay to decline an invitation once in awhile, even (or especially) if you’re famous for being the life of the party. Plan wisely and be choosy.
If you know from past experience that an event is trouble waiting to happen, pay attention to your gut feeling and stay away. Most parties aren’t compulsory and it’s perfectly okay to skip a few events, especially the ones that are sure to test your resolve.
Remember to Have Fun
Some events are nearly impossible to avoid. If you must attend due to work or social obligations, bring along a savvy friend who has mastered the art of having fun without getting drunk.
It may seem like everybody around you is celebrating with a cocktail in each hand and you are the only sober person in the room. In reality, you may be surprised how many people choose not to get completely wasted.
Don’t forget why parties were invented in the first place. Once you’ve taken a few necessary precautions, it’s time to relax and have fun! Mix and mingle. Dance. Laugh.
If the revelry is getting out of hand, excuse yourself politely and make a speedy exit. Just think: You’ll be refreshed and able to remember it all when you wake up in the morning.