- The holiday season can be stressful, despite trying to focus on your friends and family.
- Fitness expert Jillian Michaels spoke with Insider to give advice on how to have a happier holiday season.
- She recommended going to holiday parties, giving back to your community, and not spending money on gifts.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The holiday season can sometimes be anything but jolly. From family drama to financial woes, the holidays can be a source of real stress.
Jillian Michaels, fitness expert and Insider advice columnist, understands that even though the holiday season is meant to be a time for health, family, and friends, it can get pretty overwhelming.
In 2018, Michaels shared a few tips on how to make the holiday season a happy one.
1. Take some time off to focus on yourself.
“Take the time off work to really chill,” Michaels said. “Go to that a.m. spin class you never have the time to take. Sleep in. Have a boozy lunch with a sibling or good friend from back home you haven’t seen in a while.”
2. But also set aside time to spend with your family.
“If you have kids, play with them,” said the mother of two. “Sometimes life just gets too crazy and we have too many responsibilities. The holidays, however, can present many of us with some downtime. Use it. Play laser tag with your kid, hit the bowling alley, colour something together, work on a puzzle – whatever they are into. Take some time to get into their world in ways you might not always be able to.”
3. A great way to spend quality time with your friends this season is at holiday parties.
“Go to a white elephant party or an ugly sweater party,” Michaels recommended. “These ridiculous traditions are actually kind of awesome. Make the most of them. Go, have fun, be silly, [and] cut loose a bit.”
4. Make sure you’re not overspending on gifts.
“Your loved ones know you love them,” she said. “Make the holiday about spending time together, not spending money on each other.”
5. Know when you have to take a step back to ensure your happiness.
“If you have family dynamics that can be upsetting or stressful, put your foot down,” Michaels said. “Don’t engage in topics that seem to take a turn for the worst. Don’t allow people to mistreat you. Simply say, I’m not having this conversation right now. And then change the subject. If that person doesn’t listen let them know you love them, but you are going to disengage for the night, the hour, end the phone call, etc. and you will re-engage later once they have heard you and respect your feelings.”
6. Give back to your community.
“If you don’t have money, give some time. Give leftovers to the homeless. Donate to a charity you find meaningful. Help out a friend in need,” she said.
7. Lastly, start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions.
“Any time of year is a great time to make necessary or wanted changes in your life,” Michaels said. “The new year, however, does present us with a bit of a psychological clean slate, so why not take advantage of it and let it catalyze you towards some health changes – physically and emotionally.”