Maximizing joy during holiday stress
One reason I believe the holidays get a bad reputation is because of a tendency towards altering our typical routines in lieu of all the additional events and obligations we find ourselves agreeing to. Already individuals are barely keeping up with the demands of the weekend, so adding more commitments is often times leaving us running on empty. Most of these events include alcohol, over eating, gossiping, unrealistic expectations and upsetting our sleep routines. As a realistic woman, I will not even imagine suggesting you decline such festive invitations. We do not ever want to feel left out. Instead, being more mindful of maintaining realistic expectations, boundaries with food and alcohol, socializing with friends and family that nourish positivity, and prioritizing rest are essentials. If you find it difficult to focus on all four of these behaviors, then I would encourage you to pick the one you struggle with the most. One of these behaviors are likely to derail you from taking the most joy out of the experience.
Step One: Identify which behavior challenges you the most:
- Maintaining realistic expectations
- Boundaries with food and alcohol
- Socializing with friends that nourish positivity
- Prioritizing rest
Step Two: Build a Case:
Ask yourself “In the past, how has this behavior negatively impacted the joy that I get out of this holiday event?” And “Why is this important to me now to make a change?”
Step Three: Set a Goal:
Ask yourself “What would I do differently to avoid the traps of this bad behavior from emerging during my next holiday event?” (Remember the most effective goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).
Step Four: Get Accountable.
Decide who, or what can help you stay accountable to your commitment to the change in behavior. Remind yourself of Step 2 (your big WHY).
Step Five: Self-Assessment.
After the first event of the season, determine how you did in maintaining your boundaries. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is you barely tried instituting the change, to a 5, honored your goals by maintaining the boundaries. Reinforce the behavior change by repeating steps 3 – 5.
Remember, the holiday season, like life, is short. It is meant to be shared, indulged and celebrated. Too much of any good thing leaves us feeling depleted. Completely in opposition to what is intended. So, do yourself a favor, and become more proactive this holiday season by picking one behavior change that will help you maximize your joy! If you need help in supporting your change, we are always here to help.
Here’s to All the Best Wishes this Holiday Season!