3 Survival Tips to Thrive Through the Holidays

3 Survival Tips to Thrive Through the Holidays

Wetter Weather and Darker Days

Hard not to notice the daylight is waning and the weather is wetter. Many of us wake up in darkness, head to work and are driving home from work long after the sun has set. This time of year can feel bleak and the anticipation of the weeks of unending rain sets us up to feel off…you may notice you are moody, sad and lacking motivation.

Heading into a season of the endless variety of evening school concert commitments, family gatherings, office parties and holiday parking chaos, this time of year can feel frantic and far from the season we wish it would be: one of joy, love and connection. At no other time of year, are we expected to gather with people and pretend all is well quite like the way we do in this season. You may have the gift of lovely connections without tension or potential for conflict, or you are among the many who face these next few weeks with fear and trepidation. Family systems are often messy. Workplace relationships can be both powerful places of encouragement and equally powerful places of discouragement.

Here are a few survival tips to make it through:

1. Check your expectations at the door

No one, ever, has created the perfect holiday experience.

No one.  Ever.

Take the pressure off. Do less, full stop.

2. Say no and stop “shoulding” on yourself

We often get caught up in the narrative of “should.” I should be able to do more. I should go to that event. I should buy that gift. I should make that dinner. I have yet to find out “who” said we should do more, but when I do, I have a  few choice words for them.

We will live with less pressure when we learn to silence that critical voice inside our heads that commands us to do more and criticizes us when we cannot. Our critical voice is our self at worst. Soften this part of you with self-compassion, not self-criticism.

Do things that fill you up, feed your spirit and are within your emotional, spiritual and physical capacity. Knowing your limits is healthy and will increase your overall wellbeing. Living on the edge, always near the end of your window of tolerance is exhausting.

3. Find what brings you life and rest and go there often

For me, this is an early morning, fire lit, quiet coffee time. My family knows to leave me. This is my sacred time to read, readjust and prepare for my day. Nothing comes before coffee and quiet time.

Find what refuels you and do this daily.

Check out this link for more holiday options to promote resilience and vitality.

Take good care,


Tracey Dahl
Tracey Dahl
Registered clinical counsellor (RCC)