4 Questions to Ask Yourself before the Holidays Kick into High Gear
Are you feeling it yet?
The pressure of the holidays is no joke. Year after year we all simultaneously get excited to celebrate and gather with our friends and family, and also the anxiety kicks into high gear when life gets just a little too exciting and fun. The parties, the food, the booze, the comments come into full swing.
We’re all just getting started into holiday high season then right before New Year’s Eve we all start to think, “How am I going to turn this all around?” or “I can’t wait until January”.
The holidays are a hard time to fight the fight against dieting. It seems like no matter what we do, we can’t help but have that nagging feeling in our minds “in January I’m going to…” fill in the blank – join the gym, eat more regularly, eat more nutritionally, finally give up gluten, etc. etc. etc.
I used to do this. I used to get so excited for that January clean slate. It’s also my birthday month so it just feels like the perfect time to set new goals and resolutions.
It’s hard to resist the temptation.
I truly believe that you can enjoy the festivities of the holidays and the freshness of the new year without the anxiety. It starts with having some real clarity around how the holidays have impacted you in the past and what you want to do going forward in replacement.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Holidays Kick into High Gear
1.What would you like to do differently this year to survive the holidays?
It’s hard to move forward if you don’t know where you’d like to go. If you’re like me, you’d love to define the holidays and the festivities on your own terms.
Creating your own vision allows you to carry the traditions and events that make you feel the best while enjoying the vibe of the holiday season. The Christmas after Casey and I got married, we decided to talk about what traditions we wanted to create and what kind of vibe we wanted our holiday to feel like. We both agreed that less stressful was the top of our priority list.
Knowing what our priority was (less stress) it became a lot easier for us to create the vision that we wanted to uphold together.
So, I ask you this:: how do you envision your ideal holiday season?
2. Is this plan actually enjoyable or are you forcing it?
This sounds simple enough. Of course, I created this for myself, of course, it’s enjoyable. But a plan is only as good as it is executable and enjoyable. If you’re looking at your plan and this vision that you’ve created and it doesn’t allow for much flexibility or spreads yourself too thin – are you truly upholding the values and vision that you’re attempting to cultivate? Unless that vision is to see as many people and do as much as possible, then the answer is probably not.
I love creating plans with the best of intentions. When I start to create plans, I tend to think that time stands still or I’m some kind of production maven robot able to do all the things. But inevitably, I realize that it’s hard to maintain this plan – or I’m trying too hard to squeeze things in that just don’t fit the overall vibe of the holidays that I want to uphold.
You know what this leads to…frustration.
You know what frustration leads to… negative self-talk.
You know what negative self leads to…the feeling of needing to adjust myself.
But the truth is my carefully crafted plan was too rigid and too difficult to maintain. Even when created with the best of intentions, the plan was holding me to some pretty high expectations.
If your plan isn’t actually fun and executable, you’re not going to be able to stick to it long enough to enjoy yourself along the way.
3. What have you tried in the past that hasn’t worked for you?
This goes back to adjusting the beautifully crafted plan. We can’t expect things to be different if we’re trying to do the same thing again and again.
If you’re at your wit’s end with this feeling of counting down the days until January, chances are you’ve been feeling this way for a while. And chances are you’ve tried to do some shifts in the past.
If we want things to shift moving forward we have to reflect back on what has and hasn’t worked in the past so that we can do more of what we enjoy and less of what causes us anxiety.
You might be thinking to yourself – well… I can’t really do anything about my mother’s comments on why I don’t have a boyfriend, kids, dress that fits right, etc. Don’t worry, I’m getting there. The idea is to think about what you can control (and unfortunately, the comments are probably going to continue). So it’s time to think about what you’ve tried and what has and hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as you would have liked.
4. Do you have a plan on how you’re going to handle your Aunt’s comments about your weight, diet, body, size, etc.?
We all know they’re coming. They always do. This time of year is just the time when everyone is talking about how they’re going to lose weight, their latest diet, and how you should be on it too.
We have to plan how we’re going to handle it. When we know how we’re going to respond, how we’re going to shift the conversation, it’s a lot easier for us to bounce back and not allow those comments to impact us as deeply (or as long) as they could have in the past.
Is this the year that you’re going to vocalize your boundaries? Is this the year you’re going to let those comments bounce right off and keep right on keepin’ on?
This doesn’t have to mean that those words and comments don’t impact you – it just means, with a little preparation, we can build more resiliency within ourselves.
So, how would you like to handle those inevitable comments?
This is the first post in a three-part series, stay tuned for more on the holiday struggle and how you can move through it with ease.