The holiday season is upon us once again. Every year it seems to arrive in a rush, almost like we’ve blinked and missed the previous 11 months of the year.
With it comes the unseen stressors that cause us to unconsciously hold our breath. Time seems to speed up; there doesn’t every seem to be enough time in the day and suddenly we’re on holidays and forced into family gatherings en masse.
The structure and makeup of families has changed and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but somehow the age-old traditions for what the holidays ‘should’ be about – and how perfect they have to be – takes over.
We sing carols with words such as “‘tis the season to be jolly” and “holly jolly Christmas” but the reality is that we’re already tired after a long year … and the carols can’t take away the energy drain that comes with the added pressure of the season.
So, what can you do to help beat the stress of the season?
- Take the ‘silly’ out of the season – just because it’s called the ‘silly season’ doesn’t mean it has to be silly. Go to the events you want to attend, and dip in and out of them as you need to. Leave early, eat well and spend time with the people that make you laugh and give you energy. Put off some catch-ups until the new year so you can fully enjoy the time you spend with the people you love, instead of cramming it all into a small amount of time.
- Push back on conditioning that says you ‘have to’ over consume – you’ve been programmed that this time of the year means over-eating, over-drinking and generally pushing the limits. You don’t have to eat or drink something just because it’s in front of you. Be conscious about what you want and when you want it.
- Ignore the marketing campaigns that tell you you have to punish yourself for having a good time – nowhere has it ever been a written rule that because you ate something you wouldn’t normally eat, or that you ate more than you would normally eat, that you must punish yourself with a diet or exercise plan. Relax and enjoy the time with family and friends … and then go back to your normal routine the next day. Ignore any advertising campaign that tells you otherwise!
- Let go of perfectionism and aim for simplicity – a lot of the pressure of the season comes from wanting everything to be perfect. Often this means that things get out of hand and way too complicated. Instead, ask yourself the question “How can we make this as simple as possible?” and then step into the simplicity of the season.
- Take good care of yourself – this time of the year is busier than normal so it’s super important to have quick, easy and nourishing options on hand to make sure you eat well. It’s also super important to get enough sleep.
- Plan lots of self-care activities for yourself – beating the stress of the season can come down to making sure you’re re-fuelling your energy tanks constantly during this time. Make sure you schedule in time for exercise and great food so that you aren’t completely drained when your holiday comes along.
These simple and easy tips will make it easier for you glide through the holidays in a way that will help you to relax, recharge and renew in preparation for the new year to come.
If you want to explore a few ways to beat stress and burnout so you can live a little differently, you can access tips in the articles and videos in my FREE email series – it’s a great way to help you begin your journey. Simply click here to start you on your way. There are also loads of practical and simple tips and exercises in all of my books – you can buy your copy here.