Enjoy The Holidays The Right Way

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

It’s back again, folks. Last Saturday, the season’s first snowflakes fluttered their way down to the ground in Moncton. They may have been light and fluffy and seeming fragile, but they’re here to stay. The arrival of the white stuff symbolizes the beginning of yet another hectic but memorable holiday season.

While holiday break may not start until late December for many students and Monctonians, most (my self included) are already planning what they will do with their much-anticipated vacation days. Here’s a suggestion: why not look at the upcoming break as an opportunity to refresh before starting the new year rather than seeing it as a time to overindulge and drown in laziness? All things in moderation.

Society tells us that the holiday season is a time to unwind and enjoy ourselves. However, often times the turmoil that precedes it has view those few days free of obligation and potentially full of fun as an overly-idealized oasis in the desert that is long and bleak Canadian wintertime. This view isn’t the healthiest way of seeing things: it can lead to frustration before and after the holidays and regret and dread during the holidays.

Holiday break would be better spent visiting friends and family, enjoying favorite hobbies and holiday traditions, planning for the new year, and relaxing in the great outdoors. The weeks leading up to holiday break would be better spent enjoying (yes, it’s possible) what’s left of the academic year.

The way most of us look forward to holiday break is similar to how we did as young children; days are counted down and hours are spent agonizing over the work left to do. Living in the anxious anticipation of having a good time is such a waste; it’s best to live in the moment and be happy to have something to look forward to at the end of the day, time passing quickly instead of dragging. Holiday break will be here soon enough.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on November 27th, 2010.

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