How to Keep an Optimal Balance during the Holidays
We in America tend to do our holiday season like we do most everything else—big, bright, extravagant, and pressured. We even, unlike most other countries, gave ourselves an additional holiday (Thanksgiving) during this time of year, just to keep things lively.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, and wouldn’t pass on Thanksgiving (or the turkey) even if I could. However, I think it’s no coincidence that we tend to drink too much, eat too much, and spend too much during this time of year…and it’s not because we’re infused with the “holiday spirit.”
Instead, I think it’s because, in part, of the pressure we put on ourselves to “do the holidays right” and, in part, because of our striving to recapture (or perhaps create what we never had) the magic we remember as a child in the form of special food, customs, and gifts. What we don’t realize, however, is that the reason why those memories are so special is because of the people we were with, not the food we ate, or the Elf on the Shelf.
Happiness is in our relationships, and the moment of now, not in our egg nog.
This holiday season, I encourage you all to focus on spending time with people you like and love (including yourself), instead of at the mall trying to find the perfect gift. If you’re feeling lonely and/or are grieving, spend time caring for yourself, and perhaps get yourself involved in your community. It is really true that spending time caring for others can take your mind off your own troubles and make you feel better about your life.
Here are some other ways that you can infuse this season with love, caring, and a healthy balance:
- Go for a walk or a hike with a friend and/or family member.
- Do what you need to do in order to get a good night’s sleep every night.
- Try some acupressure: apply pressure to the fleshy space between thumb and index finger for 30 seconds to reduce stress and tension in your body.
- Keep your boundaries—beware of “helium hand”–taking on too much and living to regret it.
- Stick with your daily self-care—don’t throw out your lifeboats when the waters start to get rough.
- Laugh—hard–every day.
- Curb your perfectionism—life will not end if dinner is late, you forgot lemon slices for the water, or the house is not perfectly cleaned and decorated.
- Consider skipping old customs this year if you’re lonely and/or grieving. Invite not-yet-friends over, start new traditions, experiment with different traditions/customs.
- Go tech-free—at least for an evening or perhaps a day.
- Avoid caffeine if you’re already prone to anxiety, and especially avoid caffeine on an empty stomach.
- Use your 5 Senses Tool Kit to soothe away stress and anxiety.
- Don’t forget your workout—hands down one of the best mood boosters is a good workout.