Friday, December 16, 2016

Three Ways To Survive The Holidays

The holidays are so fun. You get to dress up (even if it's just fancy Christmas pajamas!), eat lots of yummy food, and hang out with your favorite people. I love the lights, the music, the laughter, everything! But for an introvert, the holidays can be incredibly draining. You're constantly surrounded by family and friends and there isn't a lot of down time. At least in my family there isn't! So how do you stay sane? Keep reading for three ways to not lose your mind and come completely unglued.

1. Two words: Quiet. Time.
Every introvert knows that alone time is the best way to recharge. But when you're constantly surrounded by people it's hard to find time alone. This is especially true if you're staying with family for an extended time. If you're struggling to find quiet time, here's a couple ways to carve out that time to recharge: Offer to run to the store when your mom inevitably forgets something. Just the drive to the store is at least 10 minutes of peace and quiet. Go workout. Why not tell your family you're starting your New Year's resolutions early by hitting the gym before January 1? No judgment if the gym is actually Starbucks. Pretend you forgot to get someone a present and "go to the store." Again, no judgment if the store is actually Starbucks. I'm not above making up an excuse to get out the house for a few minutes! Or just be honest and tell your fam that you need some time alone! Chances are they'll totally get it. Even the most extroverted person can get burnt out at the holidays. However you get around to it, take some time to just be alone.

2. Remember everyone has baggage.
No, not a suitcase full of clothes. Everyone is coming into the holiday season with emotional baggage. We're all stressed, and we all handle it differently. So when your sister-in-law explodes at you when you don't compliment her new dress, try to remember she's got her own problems. She may be feeling like a bad wife because she didn't wrap her presents the way she saw on Pinterest. Or she may feel like a bad mom because she forgot about Elf on a Shelf...again. Whether or not you know what's really going on in her life, show her grace and love and lend her an ear if she needs to vent. When we remember that everyone else is also dealing with crap, it makes it easier to show them grace when they come unglued.

3. But don't keep dragging around your own baggage.
Like I said, we all have our own baggage. But don't give the lies that come with it a place to stay. There's so much pressure at the holidays, especially with Pinterest and Instagram showcasing the best of the best. Here are some examples of lies that I've encountered at the holidays: I don't have the cutest outfit for Christmas, so I'm not beautiful. I'm still single at Christmas, so I'm not lovable. I didn't wrap my presents with the best DIY bows, so I'm a failure. Y'all! That's an awful place to be! So when those lies start creeping in, confront them with truth. Philippians 4:8 says "Whatever is true....think about such things." And Colossians 3:1-2 says "Set your heart on things above...set your minds on things above." So what truths can you think about? God gives never-ending grace. God loves me. My worth lies in the fact that Jesus died for me. Repeat these truths when the lies start filling your mind and your heart. That's the most sure-fire way to get rid of the stress that they bring!

Whatever you do, just remember that the holidays are about celebrating the coming of the Savior. Enjoy the time with family and friends. And embrace the fun and crazy! Don't give in to the pressures and lies. I highly suggest preparing yourself with verses or mantras you can chant to yourself when you feel yourself slowly unraveling. And if you're really struggling with the holiday season, talk to someone. Tell your best friend, your mom, a cousin, even me! I totally understand the pressure at the holidays. But I promise we will make it to January 2! Until then, let's enjoy the love and laughter that fill the holidays.


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