Whether you like it or not, the Holiday season is at our doors. There’s really no point in trying to bury your head in the sand: it’s here.
For many of us, it means a denser-than usual schedule, full of social and professional obligations. I’ve even heard it referred to as the Holiday hustle.
While I don’t necessarily love the idea, I absolutely get it: despite our best intentions, we often end up running from one engagement to the next, perhaps having to socialize by obligation rather than by choice, eating too many rich meals, sleeping much less than we need, and don’t even get me started about the workouts that just don’t happen!
And do we even need to mention how emotionally charged this time of year is?
From complex family dynamics to cleverly crafted movies and music, everything seems to be targeting us in an emotion-inducing way, and relentlessly trying to elicit as strong a reaction as possible.
After weeks of this regimen, we find ourselves tired, sometimes a bit resentful, and even—for all the introverts out there—completely peopled out.
Does it have to be so exhausting?
Actually, no. And here are a few strategies that can help you along.
MOVE EVERY DAY
Whether it’s a quick walk outdoors, a simple yoga flow or a quick interval workout, making sure to get daily movement will have a bigger impact than you think (check my YouTube channel here for plenty of ideas).
Working out isn’t always about “getting in shape”. Remaining active throughout the holiday season will help manage stress levels, can improve sleep, and is a great way to keep some momentum going so we don’t buy into the idea that we’re “falling off the wagon” (I really despise that expression) and feel the need to take on some impossible resolutions come January!
Being not only aware but also honest about how we’re feeling at any point in the season can be quite the life-saver. Yes, this is a joyful time, but it can also be extremely stressful, and no one wins by pretending this isn’t the case. Furthermore, we can actually be both merry and sad! Be it because of strained relationships, financial insecurity, missing loved ones, or simply going through the overwhelm of too many things happening at once, we can take a lot of emotional hits while still in fact liking the Holidays.
So what can we do?
Taking time to tune in with ourselves and to specifically name how we feel will go a long way to selecting the appropriate response. It’s also been scientifically proven that when we use descriptive language to label precisely how we feel—especially in the case of negative emotions—we help lessen their hold on us!
TREAT YO’ SELF
It’s absolutely fine to want to indulge a bit! There’s a natural tendency to seek comfort when we’re heading into some of the darkest days of the year. I think we should also make a distinction between self-care and indulgence.
I feel like we live in a culture where self-care is seen as indulgent, rather than essential. I disagree: self-care is a fundamental part of health, and we should treat it as such.
Indulgence is often a means of pursuing comfort—physical or psychological. Remember, though, that comfort mechanisms can be as diverse as the reasons behind them, and that it’s easy to slip past the “comfort” segment of the spectrum and fall into something else, something more destructive: numbing.
So here too, awareness is key: seek what brings you comfort, but take a moment to ask yourself why you are doing it, and if your course of action is the best to achieve what you’re looking for. You could surprise yourself with the answer!
For a more comprehensive approach, be sure to grab a copy of my
FREE Hold the Hustle! Holiday Handbook —
a simple guide to saving your sanity & your silhouette.
In this free resource, you’ll get my 4-part system
to get through the Holiday season without feeling
completely depleted by the end. Get your copy here.