‘Tis the season for holiday parties.
Whether it’s work, your partner’s work, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, events held in your city/town, etc. etc., the social calendar starts to fill up pretty quickly.
When I did a google search on “tips for surviving holiday parties” the majority of the articles focused on diet and alcohol. And you know what? This is probably what most people are looking for when it comes to advice on surviving the influx of social events that are mostly surrounded by food and alcohol.
But I wanted to know how to survive the holiday parties from a mental health perspective.
How can we keep our sanity during the holiday season when all of these events are happening?
Add to that and for many of us, the weather is getting colder, the nights are getting longer (at least if you’re in the northern hemisphere). As the weather gets colder, I want to hibernate more. I want to be in the comfiest, warmest possible clothes, having as many hot bubble baths as possible, and drinking tea or wine from my couch with blankets.
Being overly social, dressing up, and going out into the cold are just not my cup of tea this time of year.
But the pull to go out seems to increase.
So how does one manage to maintain our social credibility while also holding onto our sanity? The one and only assumption that can be made when it comes to mental health is that everyone is going to be different in how they manage their mental health, so what I’m sharing with you today is what works for me.
6 tips to keep your sanity with holiday parties
Don’t commit right away
Get into the habit of saying you need to check your calendar before you commit to anything. This will give you time to really think about whether you want to go or not. Sometimes we can feel like we’re being put on the spot to give an answer right away, and rather than face possible disappointment from the person who invited you, give yourself some time to think about it.
Agree to make an appearance, but don’t commit to staying for long
If it’s an event that you feel compelled to attend, then agree to make an appearance to say hello, but allude to the fact that you can’t stay for too long. That way you have an exit strategy in case you need one.
Use an excuse
I don’t recommend this one for very many situations as it does involve a white lie, but honestly, sometimes that is easier than dealing with the person who is hosting. I always recommend truth over anything, but if you feel stuck in that you committed already and now just really don’t want to go (the reason behind why you don’t want to go really doesn’t matter), then use an excuse – kid is sick, you’re sick, an emergency came up…
There are certain events that you’re really going to want to attend, and then there are going to be the ones that you are dreading. Be selective in the events that you say yes too, that way you can enjoy them and not feel like you are spreading yourself too thin. Remember, it’s okay to say no!
Dress in a kickass outfit
Nothing quite makes me feel like going out more than wearing an outfit that I feel awesome in. When I am dressed in something I feel good and confident in, it can make the difference between wanting to go and dreading going to a party.
Take frequent timeouts
Pay attention to how you’re feeling throughout the party and take as many breaks as needed. Step outside, use the bathroom, go into a quieter area of the party (if possible). Just get away for a few moments to take a few deep breaths, ground yourself, and get back to the present moment. And use this an opportunity to check-in and see how much longer you may want to stay.