How to Lose Your Shit During the Holidays

Ready to lose all semblance of sanity during the holidays? These five tips are guaranteed to get you there!

Accept the fact that you must partake.
Reality: You don’t. ThanksMasHanukkKwanza is a human invention, and your participation is optional. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t do at any other time of the year. Pick your own winter celebrations, if any. Tell the culture “you’re not the boss of me.” Live your own life.

Accept the fact that you have to spend $.
Reality: You don’t. See #1. “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need” (Tyler Durden in Fight Club). Oh, and you don’t have to spend money on gifts for other people just because other people buy gifts for other people. How fake is that? Give a gift when you feel the spirit move you to give. Don’t think it has to be material—it was be as fleeting as a hug, a smile, or a kind word.

Accept the fact that you have to hang with relatives.
Reality: You don’t. Hang with the people who give you joy. Find the tribe that loves and supports you exactly the way you are. Choose your happy connections. Invest your time and energy where it will do you good.

Accept the fact that you have to decorate.
Reality: You don’t. Do whatever you want and need to do in the winter. Clean your home rather than glut it with tinsel or the latest doohickey from Sharper Image. Think less, smaller, simpler, easier. Think “relax” rather than “rush.”

Accept the fact that you have to be jolly and merry.
Reality: Fuck that. Fake emotions have no place in your brain, mind, spirit, or life. Unapologetically feel what you feel.

Regardless of pressure to conform during the holiday season, to uphold tradition or be the “good” child, parent, friend, or citizen, remember that there’s nothing you have to do. Celebrating any holiday of the year is optional, not mandatory, and you have every right to celebrate in whatever way is right for you—even if it’s doing absolutely nothing. What were people doing in the middle of winter in AD 850 or 3500 BC? Racing around a shopping mall, hell-bent on purchasing the latest toy? Don’t think so.

Put your feet up. Take a deep breath, and savor the smell of pine and cinnamon and peppermint, reminding yourself that you don’t have to buy it or anything else. Let December be a time of slowing down and noticing the little stuff. Contemplate, dream, aspire and inspire.

Your midwinter serenity is yours to own, claim, and protect. Good things are just around the corner. The new year is about to begin, just as it has 4.5 billion times before.

Lori Stephens, pNLP, CCP is a writer, editor, publisher, Certified NLP Practitioner, Whole Person Life Coach, and the founder of ROAR Life Coaching. She specializes in Exit Strategy Coaching—helping people who are ready to quit a soul-crushing job, walk away from a toxic relationship, exit a repressive social or religious group, come out as their true sexual or gender orientation, or in some other way claim their true path. She can be reached at

Photo credit: Duffy Brook on Unsplash

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