Its the most wonderful time of the year.
That is, until youre a 20-something and the holidays suddenly mean spending way too much money and a jam-packed schedule.
Still, there are ugly sweater parties to be attended and Christmas cocktails to be consumed. (Someone’s gotta do it, right?)
So with mid-December crunch time upon us, take a second to breathe.
Because there are ways to avoid the overwhelming feeling of the holidays:
Recruit Your #ElfSquad
But seriously, executing holiday season chaos with your friends by your side is so much easier.
This year, my best friend and I went in on gift-buying for our mutual loved ones together to save time and money without lacking thoughtfulness.
Think: You buy this for Jess, Ill buy this for our neighbors. Venmo me the difference.
Other ideas that have come up this season are gift-wrapping parties featuring mimosas with the girls, and creating an ugly-sweater-party-photo-booth-station with the roomies.
These are the fun parts!
Were all throwing parties and buying gifts. Its comforting to know were not alone.
Make a playlist.
I keep hearing the term play-listing more and more from people in my life.
Whether its coming from my spin instructor friend known for her great taste in music, or the Starbucks dude that wont leave me alone until I follow him on Spotify, its a thing.
And it works.
I combined the gym tracks I listen to for an I got this attitude, the songs I use in the office to tune people out and focus and some Christmas songs (Okay, so maybe just Hilary Duffs Christmas album).
This might be horribly clich, but the “playlist for a purpose” thing has been working, so Im going with it.
Kill the Yankee Swap game.
If youre like me, you set a gift budget and stick to it.
And its kind of a buzzkill when you have to choose between buying a pair of New Balances for your best friend and a generic gift that everyone involved in a Yankee Swap or White Elephant would want.
However, since theres usually a spending cap, dont let it break the bank and pick a fun gift that people will be all over (enter the #HolidayBling sweater).
Practice the Aunt Carol script.
We all have those family members that ask unwanted questions. I try to have some version of the following rehearsed:
Im working at this place.
I see myself at this point in five years.
Oh, and Im single because I have high standards, want to focus on myself and despise the entire male species. Thanks for judging, though!
**Gulps wine and runs to dessert table.**
Strike a pose (yes, I mean yoga).
December is a time when sleep is sacrificed, exercise is minimal and mood swings are prominent.
So whether youre a yogi or a non-yogi, you can still reap the benefits of stopping the 95 mph days to pay attention to your body.
Larissa Hall Carlson, a leading yoga teacher at the Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health, the largest yoga retreat in North America, aligns the following holiday scenarios with the appropriate poses.
And theyre pretty genius.
When your holiday outfit is feeling tighter than usual and you need to de-bloat ASAP, try balancing boat pose.
When youve gorged on cookies and cocktails and need help digesting, try garland pose.
When youre actually so overwhelmed with festive everything that you feel like Scrooge, try supported legs-up-the-wall-pose.
And when youve had too many hot toddies (as if there is such a thing) and need to detox: try peacock pose.
The combination of slowing down, breaking a sweat and paying mind to yourself is beyond refreshing this time of year.
Burn calories before the storm.
Rather than saying Ill start after New Years like we do every year, I think we owe it to ourselves to work hard so we can play hard.
This way, when I knew I was eating more than I normally do because of the occasion, I felt like my body already needed that fuel.
Guilt-free binging? Yes, please.
Find your go-to recipe.
Invites to holiday parties are great.
The phrases BYOB and side dishes welcome arent as great.
Whether youre supposed to bring a dish or mix a drink, you should have a designated recipe you can whip up like the back of your hand.
Pick one and own it! (Disclaimer: A giant bucket of spiced apple sangria might be heavier to carry than you think.)
Embrace the unity and have fun.
From Black Friday shopping to New Years Eve raging, each holiday is a unifying experience.
Think of the days youll get off of work/school and nights youll spend with friends and family as motivation to make it through.
And when all else fails and you just cant, thats why someone made mixing Baileys in your coffee socially acceptable.