These two tools will get you through the holidays: Choices & Consistency
This is the time of year when it can all fall apart, right? Your good habits you’ve built, a year’s worth of good choices—all that work can fall victim to high-calorie meals, sugar-laden desserts, and the exhaustion we all get from putting so much effort into the holiday season for our loved ones.
Not to mention the actual hangovers you must endure if you choose to overindulge in drinking alcohol. Then there are the many temptations for our wallets like sales and trying to find the perfect gift. There’s a lot of social pressure to say “yes” to too many things and reach too far past the edge.
I also hear quite often that, at this point in the pandemic, people are tired. No, exhausted. The overwhelm, the grief, the rapid changes, and everyone is divided or angry… It’s all too much to begin with, but let’s not throw holiday pressure on top of it!
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I’m here to remind you that falling out of good habits makes it all WORSE.
This is the week of the year when we visit loved ones who push our buttons, stop eating healthy, skip the gym, sleep on bad mattresses at the family’s house that hurt our back, and so on. But it doesn’t have to be this way! If your goal is to have a more relaxed holiday season, read on!
How to use Consistency To Stay Sane this Holiday Season
Pick one habit that benefits you and concentrate on staying consistent with it. You got into this habit this year, whether it’s exercise, healthy eating, or mediation. Pick just one you’re NOT willing to let go of or compromise over. This one habit is the one you keep throughout the holiday season. Imagine it right now: you continue daily exercise or you stay focused on not drinking soda. No matter how much you may get teased at the family Thanksgiving dinner table about it, you don’t let it weaken your resolve.
Even a simple personal ritual each day can keep your spirit on track as the holidays get a little loud. You can reach for quiet with a simple mediation practice each day or by engaging in self-Reiki.
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Focus on Increasing Your Accountability
Find an accountability partner and you can both hold one another accountable for keeping that one good habit going this holiday season. Tell your friends and family to hold you accountable as you continue to hit the treadmill, eat keto, or stay mindful. Set a boundary so you maintain your morning meditation practice. In short, do what you need to do and communicate your need for routine to those around you.
How to Make Better Choices this Holiday Season
I don’t think it’s ever as simple as, ‘Just say no to eating the pie.” I think what’s really at stake during the holidays is our personal boundaries. If they are already weak, we’re going to eat the pie, have the hangover, and overspend on Black Friday. We’re going to say ‘yes’ to doing the things we truly don’t want to do and we’re going to exhaust ourselves. (Now, if you want to do all that, have at it!)
The holiday season shouldn’t be about stretching ourselves too thin or trying too hard to impress others. We can opt out of these social constructs at any time in order to hold onto our peace. Sure, you can buy that new flat screen TV or video gaming system cheaper on Black Friday than any other day of the year. But is it worth it to lose your peace? (Plus, you save even more money by not buying stuff at all).
If you have cultivated a mindfulness practice this year, is it worth losing right now—when it could benefit you the most? Staying in the present moment is a great way to slow down and enjoy the season.
I think we all like ourselves more when we manage to stand our ground and hold our boundaries.
“No, Aunt Edna, I won’t make it this year, the kids and I are choosing to rest,” is a great sentence. But you know what’s even more empowering? Simply using the word ‘no,’ which also a complete sentence. Learn to say no without delving into a trail of word vomit that begins with ‘I’m sorry’ and ends with a litany of reasons. This can be the most empowering skill we can learn. Saying no without giving a reason is something we can all stand to make normative.
The flip side is also true! When a loved one sets a boundary and tells us ‘no,’ we have to allow them the space to hold that boundary. We don’t cross it. We don’t need to pressure people to tell us why they told us no and we certainly shouldn’t be badgering them to ‘change their mind.” Once a boundary is set, we must respect it.
You don’t need a reason to say ‘no.’
Protect your peace this season. Find rest in the quiet that winter brings us. I know from personal experience that my own personal growth began to expand in leaps and bounds when I started to learn to say ‘no’ for the first time without giving a reason. I left a family Christmas party to go lay down and rest. It was a watershed moment for me, like, “You mean I can do this?”
No example like that had ever been set for me by mother, that it was just acceptable to go rest instead of attending all the family things. You don’t need to do everything others demand from you this season. We all must have the option of choice when it comes to holidays. We can choose what effort we put forth. We can choose how we spend our time and energy.
Try just one small shift this season if you feel unready. It could be the start of a very empowering new road you get to travel—it’s your choice!
And if you need some accountability coaching, motivation, and a cheerleader in your corner as you become more able to make empowered choices, book an online life coaching session today.