‘Tis the season! To get sick, get angry, get uncomfortable… Basically, this time of year is a hotbed of “life traps.” I can personally guarantee that this advice will work for every single person who reads it for sure, definitely.
More importantly, it will give you something to read while your uncle is in the other room trying to tell the story of how he met your new, Asian, impossibly young “Aunt” Linn. Again.
How do I survive S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?
By practicing C.H.E.E.R., of course! That is:
Cheer Heartily. Eat Everything. Rage.
Whoever said just smiling will eventually make you feel better has obviously never been to Chicago during the winter, or else they’d know that’s bullshit. So eat. Food is delicious, and if nothing else you’ll at least have something other than the sun setting at 2 pm to be depressed about: your expanding waist line. And then Rage. Get crazy about something. It’s hard to stay depressed when you’re smiling. It’s even harder when you’re pissed.
Or get one of those lamps.
My insomnia gets worse this time of year. What can I do?
Watch a Disney movie in a different language. Might I recommend Aladdin in Swedish? Swedish Gilbert Godfried kills it.
How can I avoid embarrassing myself at the holiday party?
Take one for the team. Why are you trying to rob people of the joy of gossip?! And for what, a little self-preservation?
Do you remember how much you talked about that trainwreck from last year? And how fun that was. Chug those candy cane martinis, belt Janis Joplin till you pukepassout naked on your work husband’s desk and move on.
Everyone will be thankful it wasn’t them and they’ll be grateful to you. They won’t say it to your face, of course, but I assure you, they’re talking about it.
How do I ask my boss for a raise?
First, hire some sad British people to play your family (preferably at least one with a crutch) and then stage a “Found Footage!” video where it is revealed that your family won’t have Christmas “Holiday” because of your measly paycheck and your priggish boss (make sure someone British says this part). Leak video to boss.
Wait for raise.
Should I move to L.A.?
Well, that depends. Do you want to…
A) Be famous?
B) Be working?
C) Enjoy life?
Trick question. It doesn’t matter where you live. Make the choice you want and stop talking about it. Nobody cares. I know this because I do it every year.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs are better to ride; cats are better to stick in small spaces.
The holidays throw off my diet!?
You’re looking at this the wrong way. It’s the rest of the year that’s throwing off your holiday. Reverse diet. Eat like it’s a holiday all year long. By the time the holidays come around, you’ll have spent 11 months overindulging. You’ll be the one person who passes on the second helping of stuffing– and also the first one (one word: glutenBOMB). It’ll really impress and infuriate your friends, and that’s what The Holidays are all about.
How can I deal with my guilty feelings about pretty much everything?
Buy a bag of Snickers Bites. Carry a baggie with a handful of them around. If you see a homeless person, give it to them. If not, they are your Bites to snack on. Giving to charity is great, but it takes away what you really get out of giving: human connection.
I used to try to carry around apples for this, but they are cumbersome. A tiny baggie of bite-sized Snickers fits in anything. You will feel instantly better and nicer because you were good to a stranger. It can be hard to be nice to all the people you know/are related to/work with. This way, you’re putting at least a little good energy into the world during a time that can be hard for everyone. ‘
Tis the season, after all…
Andel Sudik has performed improv at iO, the Playground and the Annoyance and sketch comedy at Second City on a cruise ship, in theatricals, with the National Touring Company and on the e.t.c. stage. She is an alumni of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, currently teaches sketch and improv in Chicago and occasionally writes things while looking out her window at the lake. Follow her on twitter @AndelSudik or check out her website andelsudik.com.