Wednesday, November 25, 2015

8 Tips To Keep You Sane This Holiday Season

8 Tips To Keep You Sane This Holiday Season

For those of us lucky enough to have a loving family we (thankfully) don’t live close to, the holidays are prime time for traveling at high financial cost to see them.  However, the emotional cost can be even higher.  No matter how loving a family may be, the holidays are often rife with repeated frustrations, acute depression, generalized anxiety, renewed sibling rivalry, exposed alcoholism, binge eating, underlying tension, drunken accusations, drunken confessions, all-out brawls, stony silence, and tears in your childhood bedroom, which, incidentally, is the name of my new band.  Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to beat the drama and keep your head above water this holiday season.

  1. Bring a Friend!  Be it a romantic partner, best friend, or casual work acquaintance, the mere presence of an outsider can help keep the pot lid tightly in place.  If (let’s be honest- When) the pot ultimately boils over, at least you have someone to lift your spirits or help you escape.  Just know you may lose this person as a friend or lover depending on how crazy your family is.  But at least you won’t have to blame yourself- this one is definitely all your family’s fault!
  2. Know Your Limits!  Everyone has a threshold of how much family time they can take.  My family, for instance, is a ticking time bomb that usually takes about three days to detonate.  So if I were a wiser person I would book a trip for three days.  I usually go for a week.  Which brings me to #3.
  3. Learn From Your Mistakes!  When we are thrust back into our families, we are unconsciously thrust back into the role we played when we were growing up. You know everyone’s buttons.  As a child you used to delight in pushing them.  And now you are an adult, so act like one, goddammit!  Stop repeating your part of the crazy family pattern.  This includes not letting them push your buttons, because you are a calm Zen garden filled with pure love and compassion.  Which brings me to #4.

  4. Be Prepared!  Before your trip you should do everything in your power to be ready for the family battlefield.  Go on a yoga retreat, start meditating or seeing a therapist like you said you were going to do 10 years ago, do a juice cleanse. (While this may make you hangry at the time, you will be so grateful to be eating pie again you won’t even notice that your aunt and uncle got divorced for at least two days!)
  5. Go in Guns Blazing!  Let’s be honest, sometimes that #4 shit ain’t gonna cut it.  Make a list of everything you are angry about and every elephant in every room, EVER.  Put on your leather jacket, walk into your parents’ house, pour yourself a nice tall glass of whisky, light up a cigarette IN THE HOUSE, exhale in your grandma’s face (She’s responsible for all this anyway, right?) and start rattling off your list.  For even greater effect, do this at the dinner table when as many family members as possible are present.  If you survive the day, I guarantee you’ll feel better.  You may not even have to go home for the holidays again next year!
  6. Don’t Drink!  Oftentimes, our problems and tensions become magnified when we drink.  Drunk fights are never productive, and crying yourself to sleep with your head in the toilet is the least restful sleep I can think of.  Especially if your family are big drinkers, it might be wise to lay off the sauce and let them fight it out while you watch and laugh from the top of your “I’m not getting into it” wagon.
  7. Drink Heavily!  If not drinking is not an option, do the opposite!  Drink to the point of blackout and it’s like this Christmas never happened!  Let them take all the pictures they want of you curled up naked with the cat under the Christmas tree and post them on Facebook, if you don’t remember it, it’s all hearsay. 
  8. Don’t Go Home!  Sometimes nothing works and that’s ok!  Let all of the stress caused by family drama, pressure, and obligation fade into the background by just pretending they don’t exist.  If they don’t you’re even one step closer to a blissfully selfish and indulgent holiday season jam-packed with or completely devoid of activities.  No matter what you do, it’s reassuring to know that you’ve chosen it all by yourself, all for yourself.  Enjoy the silence!

Monday, November 16, 2015

When I was in my 20's I was a drunk tornado. When you’re young you could have a stupid job with no pressure of the future, you could date without thinking, “Could this person be the one?”, and you don’t have to really take care of your body because that shit is tight! Then you turn 30.  When you turn 30, it’s time to buckle down, look around and say, ‘What can I change here?’.  

Here is a list of things you did in your 20’s that you can’t do in your 30’s:

1. Dating unavailable men- It’s done, over, finite. Time to only date men who deserve you and  ones that you want to have an actual future with. Or a conversation with, let’s just start with that. 

2. Drinking 5 nights a week- The money wasted, the bloating, the hangovers, and the overall funk… it’s over.  It’s time to move forward.  Find a new hobby.  Try knitting.

3. Not washing your face- Ladies, your skin looks good now, but that shit is gonna catch up to you.  It’s time to thoroughly wash your face.  And I’m not talking just using a face wipe. 

4. Drunk dialing or texting- Not cute.  At 25 it wasn’t cute, at 30 it’s sad. 

5. Not wearing sunscreen- see, “Not washing your face”. I’m serious.

6. Not flossing- Ladies, dental surgery, gum disease, this shit is for real.  So, save yourself some money and pain and try to floss a few times a week and then we will work up to more. (The American Dental Association suggests flossing every day, but we all know that's never gonna happen.)

7. Sleeping with your male friends/co-workers - Take my advice, no matter how chill or cool you think you are, at some point this gets awkward.  Or you’ll start to watch these dudes find real life partners or girlfriends and you'll feel like shit.  Start putting yourself out there and look for dudes you really want to date. See, “Dating unavailable men”.

Girl, you’re in your thirties.  Own it.  It’s an awesome age.  It’s time to own who you are and take care of yourself and be the best woman you can be.  Take care of you heart and your body, and most importantly, your gums.