5 Effective Ways To Stay Sane During The Silly Season

by Laura Gale

Finding effective ways to stay sane during the silly season doesn’t have to make you a scrooge.  In fact, for those of us who identify as introverts, or suffer with social anxiety; setting boundaries and practicing a few key strategies is hugely important, especially at this time of year.  Knowing yourself and your social ‘limits’ can make all the difference between feeling festive or finding yourself in a funk you can’t shake to greet the New Year.

  1. Set boundaries.  Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to say ‘Yes’ to every invitation you receive, and you don’t have to be the last one standing at a party if you do choose to attend.  You and your own health are your #1 priority.
  2. Take time to recharge.  If you need a break between events, take it.  Some of us love to socialise and actually gain energy by being around people constantly.  Others find it overwhelming and exhausting.  There’s no right or wrong; but take this as a sign that it’s time to decide where you sit on the spectrum and treat yourself accordingly.  
  3. Visualise a positive experience.  A key strategy for anxiety sufferers is to take some time before the event in question and visualise how you’d like to experience it.  Visualise yourself arriving at the party, engaging in meaningful conversation with confidence, experiencing feelings of happiness and contentment.  Your brain is very clever; however it can’t tell the difference between a scenario that plays out in your mind, and one that plays out in real life.  With some practice, when you arrive at the event, your brain will think it has already been there and you’ll be more likely to feel confident and comfortable.
  4. Know yourself and your limits and set yourself up to succeed.  If you tend to drink more than you’d like: nominate yourself as the designated driver.  If you tend to indulge in party food and de-rail your healthy eating habits: have a proper meal before you go to a party, so you’re not tempted to pick at finger food. 
  5. Tune into your body.  Try to recognise your personal signals of overwhelm and take it as a sign to slow down and rest.  If you find yourself becoming irritable, short-tempered, overly emotional or just down-right exhausted, it’s probably time to take your foot off the proverbial accelerator and take some time for you.

For many, the Christmas and New Year period signals a full social calendar with more opportunities than usual to ‘eat, drink and be merry’.  For others this time of year is tough; a reminder of lost or distant loved ones, and increased financial stress.  Wherever you sit on the spectrum, this time of year is also an important time to rest, relax, and reflect on the year that has just passed.  

Be mindful and kind to yourself and to others in your life.  If you don’t feel up to all the festivities and social interaction, try to be honest with yourself and others.  On the flip side, if someone in your life seems resistant to partying, ask yourself why that might be and try to meet them with compassion, rather than cajoling.

Wherever this festive season takes you, stay safe and stay well.

If you’re looking for extra support over the festive season, book in a consult with Naturopath Laura here, or call the clinic on 03 5977 0117.

This article is intended to be informational only and represents the opinion of the author. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and does not take the place of advice from a qualified health care practitioner in a clinical setting. Please check with your healthcare practitioner before embarking upon any of the treatments discussed.