The last month of the year is a world of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, Boxing Day, New Years and more- there is always something to be celebrating! There’s no doubt that enjoying food and fun with friends and family is great. However, there’s also the shopping, planning, preparing, decorating, double booking, obligations and conflicts to attend to. It comes in with a glittering, flustering fury right after Halloween- and before we know it January arrives leaving us feeling deflated, overtired, and even ill. Want some hacks to beat the holiday hustle?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could skip all the hassles and keep only the memory makers? If you are already feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all, learning these hacks will help you coast through the busiest time of the year.
Whether you’ve been collecting gifts all year, or the rush is now upon you, we can all get a little stressed and irritable around the holidays. Take a bit of time each day to remind yourself why you are doing it- the people and places you want to spend time with and the impact you want to make. When you get lost in the marketing schemes to buy and consume everything possible- take a step back. Be present with why you want to buy gifts and attend parades, local events or friends’ parties- and stay in that why. If something is truly important and will make a positive impact in your life or the lives of others, go all in. If not, pass on it.
Rather than trying to fit in everything- try to save your energy for the things that are most valuable to you. We often feel we should or ‘have to’ do things due to duty or debt- when in reality we are not obligated to do anything. We always have the choice. If we buy into the idea that we prove our worth by being busy and trying to be perfect, we will say yes to all those things. By choosing to take action (or not) we open up to more within our own life- and the choice to be in service to those we love feels a lot better than feeling like we ‘have to’.
So if dedicating time to take your kids to a give back project feels like a better choice than making 100 cupcakes for their holiday bake sale fundraiser- do that. Be honest about the amount of time and energy you have, and how you want to spend it based on what means the most in your life.
In order to make the most of your time, it is necessary to know how you will spend it. Having all of your plans laid out in front of you allows you feel in control and well organized and gives you the opportunity to see the flow of your holiday season. Too many big events in one week is strenuous and sets you up for fatigue, so be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish to feel filled up, rather than depleted.
For example- prepping for a big dinner, a bake sale and your regular meal planning in addition to a party can feel like too much- even as you are just writing it down on paper. Building on the ideas of perspective and value, you can truly understanding how you want to spend your time and minimize the ‘should do” obligations as much as possible. Usually if we are doing something we don’t want to- the other people involved don’t want to be doing it either. Try being honest about your feelings, from a perspective of what most benefits everyone, and it may clear that event from your calendar for years to come.
Nowadays we are expected to do everything for ourselves. Needing to be perfect publicly while struggling to juggle life behind the scenes creates incredible stress. Take advantage of good cheer and break yourself out of this unhealthy habit. People are longing for a connection to others at this time of year. Wherever you find community- your neighbours, gym, cafe, school, work or WildFit group- tell people how much you appreciate them, offer a helping hand, and feel welcome to ask for a hand too.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about hosting a party solo- ask guests to take part in a potluck, or assign roles to your guests to get them involved in the kitchen. It may not be perfectly themed or social media perfect- but it will be a lot more fun and relaxed! If you are feeling sad because a loved one passed at this time of year, ask a friend to talk through it with you. If you are feeling alone or disconnected, offer to help with a give back project. Helping others can feel truly rewarding, and reminds us what these holidays are really all about. You may feel alone but you are not isolated – you just need to be brave enough to tell someone how you are feeling, and your heart will lighten.
No matter our circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for if we look for the positives and the lesson in what we have been given. If something doesn’t work out the way you imagined- maybe it was for a reason. Maybe the turkey you cook will be raw in the middle- but everyone can enjoy all the side dishes and laugh a lot. If you try to be kind to your mother-in-law and she antagonizes you anyway, focus on how you have grown and your own efforts. If you spend a few moments each day focused on all the things that went well, the good choices you made, and being grateful for the people and opportunities you have around you, your mood will improve and your stress will go down- key elements of a happy holiday!
This gentle reframe of how you go about your holidays is a small gift to you for all of the incredible work you have done to improve your own health this year. We wish you all the best and a very present and peaceful holiday season.
Why not give the awesome gift of health this holiday season with the WildfFit 90 Day Challenge Starting December 17!