This is not just another holiday survival guide.
Oh, they exist and in numbers that could circle the earth at least a gazillion times.
This is an exploration of where it comes from and what to do about it. Oh, and how to then have better sex.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard people say one or more of the following (including myself) in one or more combinations:
The holidays suck.
I’m depressed. ‘Tis the season.
I can’t wait for the holidays to be over.
I can’t go to yoga—I’m too f*cking busy getting ready for the holidays. (sigh.)
Once the holidays are over, I’m going to be sooooo relieved. (dreamy look in the eye.)
My family is crazy and I just can’t take it! I swear next year I’m going to escape to the Caribbean.
I don’t remember feeling this way as a kid! What in the world are we doing to ourselves?
The holidays are not supposed to suck. They’re supposed to be full of joy! Bright and cheery! Magical! Happy! Everyone sings songs and holds hands in a circle with a sparkle in their eye. Kisses all around!
Supposed to be. Ah. That might just be the problem we’re having here. Our expectations at work, ruining everything.
Instead, the holiday season has turned into a version of The Hunger Games. Grab your survival gear, grit your teeth, knuckle down and…. go!
Here are 7 ways I’ve come up with to beat the stress and in the end, have great sex.
- Bite your tongue, but with love. There’s no need to bring up politics, gun control, climate change, Obamacare or anything else that you suspect will turn into knock-down brawl or potentially result in said gun to appear right there at the dinner table. Why do it? We love our family, no matter how dysfunctional, right? (Yes, all families are dysfunctional.) Show the love!
- Let go of the food. Not everyone’s gonna love the dish you chose to pass. Maybe they frown upon your vegan ways (they may just feel uncomfortable that they’re not as conscious as you are). Or, if you’re hosting, they may be downright spiteful that you chose to serve fish and quinoa over the über traditional fare involving ye olde patriarch carving roast beast to kingdom come. Are they making fun of your silly morals or overly health conscious tendencies behind your back. Probably! Do you get aggravated when they don’t take your dietary preferences into consideration? No doubt you do! Go with it. Be curious about why you’re stressed about it. It’s just food. It’s just one day. Nobody is gonna die over it (well, there’s a chance if the gun comes out).
- Pack a mantra in your holiday arsenal. Something like “I am full of peace and love. All is well. These people cannot take me down.” can disarm even the most stressful moment. If the moment lasts longer than a moment, close your eyes and ears and sing “Deck the halls.” Chances are good people will leave you alone after that.
- Remember to breathe. This is the answer to life, but is particularly valuable during the holidays. It’s is so easily forgotten. Get down into that belly and breathe deep into into it. Important: Don’t forget to breathe out.
- Walk away. When Aunt Frannie starts chiding you about your recent marriage equality Facebook post and begins to wonder if you’re now gay because not only did you publicly post such a heinous thing, but you’re 35 and unmarried (and maybe you are gay, which is totally fine), just tell her you feel a bowel movement coming on and must hit the bathroom. Or feign a migraine. But not before confiding in her about your undecided sexual preference… “the existence of gay marriage has left me so confused, Aunt Frannie!” Then laugh because she is, after all, 81, and from an entirely different era when “gays” were forced to cower in the closet. Meanwhile, she and your Uncle Charlie are known for their ear-splitting bickering which escalates after a couple of drinks—a fine example of hetero marriage.
- Embrace your feelings. Your stress and/or sadness and/or overall frustration and/or hateful thoughts are a sign that you are alive! Take those feelings into your heart and examine them without judgement. Accept them for what they are and be grateful that you’re alive to experience the hell of it all. And then plaster a smile on your face. Let out a ho-ho-ho.
- Have an extra eggnog. It’s a known fact that liquor can help one escape the feelings of angst. Imbibe! If you’re the designated driver, you’re out of luck.
You won’t need to look any further for a holiday survival guide. This is it, man.
Now go out there. You can do this thing called the holidays. It’s really only a day (or two, possibly three. If you’re out of town staying with family, my heart goes out to you! You may need to read this morning, noon and night to weather that perfect holiday/family storm).
Once it’s over, you will be remarkably relieved. And the sex will be amazing. Better than it was during the holidays, at least.
Want 15 free additional reads weekly, just our best?
Editor: Bryonie Wise