Posted by: seattledizzygroup | November 26, 2014

Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Joy and Peace

Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Joy & Peace!

By Anne Schwenn of Seattle Dizzy Group

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year which can unfortunately be quite challenging, overwhelming, and exhausting for those living with a chronic vestibular or balance disorder.  Try these easy and practical tips to survive and enjoy the holidays with joy and peace:

  1. Get holiday gifts and supplies early (if possible before Thanksgiving). Buy food, wine, gifts, wrap, etc. – everything you might need! Prepare like you’re stocking up for the holiday apocalypse. The idea is to have everything ready and available in your home and eliminate the need for stressful and exhausting running around town during the holiday season.
  2. Keep a stash of easy, inexpensive gifts on hand during the holidays. Buy universal things like boxes of chocolates or handy gadgets. Make sure they are things that you like. If you don’t end up gifting the items during the holidays, then voila, they can be New Year gifts for you! Get cheap gift bags and tissue at a dollar store = bingo instant wrap!
  3. Avoid malls and shopping centers which can be very over-stimulating/overwhelming. Instead, purchase holiday gifts online (=great, easy shopping!). Take advantage of coupons/deals and free shipping offers. (For example, shop Amazon. Or, Powells Books in Portland usually runs a free shipping offer during the holidays, and bonus, no sales tax).
  4. If you don’t have a lot of extra money, consider making holiday gifts. I make peanut brittle. It is easy and can be made in big batches that last for months. I buy little cellophane bags at a dollar store and make little bundles of peanut brittle. I foist them on everyone I know, and they think the brittle is a rare and difficult thing to make.
  5. Have wine on hand during the holiday season for quick gifts or to take to a party. Before the holidays, purchase 6-12 bottles of wine from a discount store that gives “case discounts” (for example, Total Wine or Wine World).
  6. If you plan to bring hors d’oeuvres or baked goods to holiday parties, pick one recipe that is easy and keep all the ingredients on hand in your home for the holiday season. (Avoid last-minute grocery store runs!). Grocery shop late at night or early in the morning when stores are quieter. Or, use a grocery delivery service like Amazon Fresh or Instacart.
  7. Holiday parties can be noisy, over-stimulating, and generally torturous. (I don’t mean our friends and family, just the event itself). Here is how I do it: Get one plate of food and one drink. Find a couch corner or a comfy chair and just sit for the party. Try to choose a seat that has arms and/or a back that you can get a lot of physical grounding from, and don’t move your head around too much. Then, like the Queen of England, have party guests approach you and be recognized and addressed. Wear a crown if you like. Holidays scream for sparkles.
  8. The holidays are filled with “traditions” and each year it seems there are more of them. For example: “Every year we bake cookies with so and so, it’s a holiday tradition” or “We always go to the Nutcracker” or “We always shop on Black Friday.” Reevaluate your traditions, and consider if any are causing you stress. If a tradition is not enjoyable or is causing too much stress and fatigue then it is okay to stop doing it. Only pick a few traditions that you really enjoy, and let the others go. Start preparing your friends and family before the holiday season and explain why you won’t be participating in some holiday activities, so it will be easier to get out of traditions.
  9. Eat healthy during the holidays. Watch the salt and sugar, avoid any food or drink that you know makes you feel awful, and stay hydrated with plenty of water. The holidays can be busy and stressful which can cause us to slide off our diet plans and then pay the price. It is so easy to use the holidays as an excuse, and naughty food is around us always. During the holiday season, give yourself one day a week (and only one day!) to indulge and eat treats.
  10. Make sure to get a little fresh air here and there during the holidays. Go for regular walks, even if they are short.
  11. Schedule rest throughout the holiday season! Weeknights are hard, especially if you work full-time. So, plan four nights a week in and only plan activities or errands out of the house one night a week. I try to only schedule one “Holiday Event” per weekend. I also put on my calendar things like “Pajama Sunday” in order to rest and recover. Prepare for down days by reserving a bunch of corny holiday movies from the library, and during the holiday season you can rest and watch movies. Stay cozy, relax, and drink a holiday beverage like cocoa, hot cider, or mulled wine.
  12. Take time to just sit, be still, and experience the many joys of the holiday season like twinkling Christmas tree lights, glowing candles, or snow falling. The holidays can actually be beautifully peaceful when you stop and enjoy them!

See also:  Holiday Tips

*Edits/updates by Seattle Dizzy Group*

 © Copyright 2014, Seattle Dizzy Group. All rights reserved.


  1. Reblogged this on cgw629.

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Seattle Dizzy Group

Providing support & community for people living with chronic dizziness & imbalance -- in Seattle & beyond

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