Every December in my practice, for 15 years now, I hear and observe the same sentiments from people. As much as there is excitement about the holiday season, there tends to also be a lot of overwhelm. People are often overstimulated, overfed, overcommitted, and they may also overspend on gift-giving. This added stress is not good for your health!
The good news is that how you feel during the holidays is up to you. You CAN choose to celebrate but feel positive, rested, and healthy! The first place to start though, is to get really clear on what you want the season to mean to you, and so I’m encouraging you to reflect on this idea briefly, and then do this one thing that will make a tremendous difference:
Set an intention for the holidays.
But first, be realistic and consider:
What’s happening in your life these days? Where are your children or extended family in the current stage of their lives? Given their ages and interests, what do you want the holidays to look like for you?
Every year our lives are a little different, and it’s important to change our expectations accordingly.
Maybe you have a holiday planned, maybe there is someone in your family who having a tough time, maybe your grieving a loved one? Maybe there has been a change in your home or work life somehow? Maybe your finances are more strained than usual?Depending on your reflection on these areas of your life and the people in it, you might want to adjust your plans and celebrate a little differently this year.
Decide what you want the holidays to mean, what your priorities are, and how you want feel? And then I want you to write it down.
Choose 3-5 words or perhaps write a brief statement or sentence, then put it somewhere you can see it. You can get creative with this! Make it look pretty or decorative if you like, but what really matters is that you will see it and be reminded of what you wrote. Whether you post it on your fridge, put it on your phone, or write it in a journal that you will look at every day, this is the most important step!
When you have an intention to refer to, it will help you make solid decisions about how you spend your time and money this holiday season. You’ll feel better about your choices because they will be more realistic with your current lifestyle, and this will ease your mind, and help you find more JOY (and less stress) holiday season.
~ Dr. Melissa