Five Tips to Help You THRIVE During the Holidays
You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry I’m telling you why – Santa Claus is coming to town…
Do I really have to sit next to Uncle Joe at Grandma’s Christmas dinner? Does little Timmy really need an Xbox? Do we really have to drop the kids off with your ex at 2PM on Christmas day? I hate spiral ham…do we really have to eat it at your mother’s this year? Can the jolly old elf take a year off? Can we cancel Christmas, Holiday Parties, and the four Yankee Swaps we’ve been invited to? Can I just skip it all together?
it’s really no surprise but the holidays come once a year, every year. Yet they sneak up on us as if we’ve had our heads in the sand for eleven months. We only see Uncle Joe once a year but we seem to suffer from selective amnesia until Grandma calls in early November reminding us about our yearly gathering. And that’s when we’re reminded of his obnoxiousness or his illness or that we just don’t like him.
From there the holidays seem to snow ball out of control. The gift budget we agreed upon explodes when Suzie tells you her daddy is buying her an iPhone and you can’t possibly compete with that or your spouse goes overboard at Toys R Us.
The holidays are stressful. More so than any other time of the year. Expectations, assumptions, and being over-schedule and over-committed only add to complex and busy lives. What if you press pause for just a second and take a deep breath? I’m publishing this article weeks in advance of the holiday pile up. Maybe one or two of the tips will help. As always, your mileage may vary.
Tip #1: Make yourself a priority
So many of us think this is selfish. It’s NOT. When we operate on a full tank of “fuel,” we’re more apt to be able to help our spouses, our kids, our stepkids, and our friends. Putting you first isn’t a crime – it’s a necessity – especially during the holidays. When others see that we make ourselves a priority, they’ll treat us as a priority.
Tip #2: Find a physical activity that you love
Start now. Start today. Find something that you love to do that gets your body moving for at least 30 minutes every single day. It really doesn’t matter what it is just as long as you get moving. Natural endorphins will kick in and help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase better sleep, and more! In my case, you’ll find me doing extra pushups at the dojo working off calories AND stress.
Tip #3: Find time for silence
Find time to be in silence and be silent. Whether it’s 5 minutes in the morning before you start the day or 5 minutes in the evening as you end the day, make the time to be silent. Meditation, prayer, or just be quiet and focus on your breath…silence will guide you better than the incessant chatter you hear in your head. In the midst of the expectations that the holidays seem to bring, escape to your bedroom, bathroom or even your car to take a silence break.
Tip #4: Find time to connect, play, and have fun
Find ways to have fun to connect, play, and have fun with your family BEFORE the holidays wash ashore. It really doesn’t matter what “it” is. For example, my husband and I host a weekly family dinner and it’s a great way for our extended family to connect and have a good time with each other.
Tip #5: Plan how you will spend your time and your money
Dinner at Grandma’s is no surprise. You know Uncle Joe will be there. Your kids are getting older and they’re asking for the newest widget and the shiniest gadget. Don’t blow your budget out of guilt. If you are part of a stepfamily, honor the schedule. Don’t spend next year mired in what you think are the expectations of others. Don’t be afraid to say no to last minute invitations, requests, or that extra piece of pecan pie.
And if you really want to skip the holidays all together, that’s ok, too. They come once a year, every year.
- Do any of these tips resonate with you?
- Which tip or tips can you see yourself experimenting with?
- What can you start doing right now before you feel buried by the holidays?