How to Survive the Holiday Season | Seersucker Sass

Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to Survive the Holiday Season

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week from today!  I hate to be generic and say that this year has flown by, but oh my goodness, this year has been a blur.  (Is this part of adulting?!)  The holidays were such a madhouse last year, and I feel like that momentum didn't stop and instead just carried into 2016.

Last year I made a concentrated effort not to get caught up in all of the craziness that comes along with the holidays, and while it wasn't 100% effective, it was definitely a step in the right direction.  If you're trying to navigate the holiday season in the post-grad world, here are some helpful hints that I try to abide by.

Utilize a calendar and view the big picture.  I have a really bad habit of looking at my calendar, seeing I'm available on a certain date, and committing to something, then later realizing I have committed myself to something every single day that week.  Whether you use outlook, the calendar on your phone, or a paper planner, be sure that you're scoping out the full week ahead.  Not only will this help when it comes to over committing your time, but it also helps when it comes to keeping your finances on track.

Carve out some time for yourself.  What are your favorite things about the holiday season?  Whatever they are, put them on your calendar and treat them just like you would other plans.  You don't want to realize on December 26th that you didn't have time to watch Elf.  Carving out time for yourself is good for your sanity, and you should never feel guilty for taking time for yourself.

Don't be afraid to say no.  FOMO is a real thing and so is exhaustion.  Don't feel required to go to everything you're invited to. 

Shop early if possible.  One of my biggest stressors of the holiday season is finding everyone the perfect gift.  I tend to wait until the last minute, which sucks for both my sanity and my bank account.  This year, I started early.  There are lots of birthdays in my family in October - December, so in September I created a game plan of what everyone was getting for their birthday and Christmas, and then put calendar reminders of which ones to purchase on which pay day.  I feel so much more at ease this way.

Eat smart & drink water when you can.  I'm all about indulging during the holidays.  But I also know that eating a lot of food that isn't good for me makes me feel gross and sluggish, so I try to plan out my non-holiday party meals.  If I know I'll be helping myself to lots of hors d'oeuvres and a holiday cocktail in the evening, I'll have something light like a salad or grilled chicken for lunch instead of going for a fast food burger.  Being dehydrated is so no fun, so I also try to up my water intake.  (I love infusing water with orange slices and cranberries to be festive!)

Keep a little gift stash. This is a little trick I learned from my momma.  She has a drawer at her house that has small gifts in it to be used for "gift" emergencies - last minute birthday dinners, holiday gifts, etc.  Any time I needed a last minute gift, she always had something good for me to take - decorative wine stoppers, cute coasters, a Bath & Body Works candle, etc., that she had found on super sale somewhere.  This will save your sanity when you find out that you need a white elephant gift for a party 15 minutes before you walk out the door or you're frantic for a last minute hostess gift to pair with your bottle of wine.

Take an opportunity to give back.  It's really easy to forget the true reason for the holiday season.  If you have an opportunity to give back, whether it be adopting an angel from the Angel Tree or volunteering your time at a soup kitchen, giving back during the holidays is one of the easiest ways to renew your spirit.

I want to hear from you - How do you keep your sanity during the holidays?!

Happy Thursday, y'all!


  1. I love the idea of a gift stash! I'm going to try that this year, so I don't feel at a loss for stocking stuffers and little gifts for loved ones.

    Cristina /

  2. You can not forget to shop early! It gets so crazy this time of year!

  3. This idea of a gift stash is genius! I might have to do that, even though I already have way too much clutter!

  4. I am a huge fan of the "gift stash" as well! All throughout the year I try to pick up little gifts that would be perfect for birthdays, hostess gifts, or even Christmas and that way if I'm realizing that I'm getting behind on my shopping, I can always shop my stash! It's come in handy many, many times.

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  5. Looking at your calendar big picture is such a great tip that I need to get in the habit of, every week somehow I have been committed every single night that week and then I have no time to get things done or have any me-time. I think that is going to be my goal from now on, to take a bigger look and not over-schedule myself. Thanks for the awesome tips!

    xo Courtney Drew

  6. I love the tip about looking at the big picture! That's so important and something I've been trying to do lately. I need to make sure I do all the things on my holiday checklist this year! I think I waited until the last minute to watch Elf last year and that's just unacceptable!

    Kayla |

  7. This is such a helpful guide!! I love the idea of having a gift stash - it seems like such an awesome idea and no-brainer that I don't know how I've gotten on all these years without one!

    I'm also so excited to try out cranberry infused water!! :)

    - Jess

  8. These are all such great tips! I love the idea of having a little gift stash! Perfect for stocking stuffers, or if someone gets you a gift, but you didn't have one planned for them! #Embarrassing


  9. seriously fomo gets the best of me like 9/10 and I end up feeling EXHAUSTED and eating my feelings on the couch haha your suggestions sound much more logical! totally agree about staying hydrated, I try to drink a gallon a day and its so so so good for you!

  10. The holidays can be a stressful time but if you're proactive in taking steps to make them easier they don't have to be! Solid tips!

  11. Eat smart and drink water is sooooo hard during the holidays, but so important!

  12. These are all such great tips! It's a week until Thanksgiving and I already feel like I'm in survival mode LOL!

    Greta |

  13. Having a gift stash is such a good idea! It's always a nerve wrecking moment when you can't find a hostess or white elephant gift last minute. I think Black Friday is the perfect time to buy some of those "stash gifts" in bulk, like candles.

    -Kim :)

  14. Yes & HECK YES to all of these things. I constantly have to remind myself to look at the big picture of the *always weirdly hectic* holiday season. Me time is also so, so important especially this time of year - we also need to celebrate ourselves!