Learning to maintain a healthy mindset during the holidays is absolutely critical to finishing the year strong. Does this include sticking to you fitness routines and regularly scheduled physical goals? Absolutely, yes. But it also goes a bit deeper.
Personally, I love the holidays. I am invigorated by the celebrating, decorating, cooking, eating, and events. I am a willing participant in all the jingle bell rock. However, I know the holidays can be a time of sadness, darkness, and anxiety. They can be chaotic, full of stress, grief, and resentment. How can we deal and maintain a healthy mindset during the holidays?
Take Care of Yourself
First and foremost, you won’t be prepared to be part of the battle of the “most wonderful time of the year” if you’re not in fighting shape. Drink water. Get enough sleep. Eat nourishing foods. Follow an exercise routine. Read and listen to music. Create a meditation ritual. Remember to breathe and care for yourself. It’s the first step to dealing successfully with the rest of the madness.
Don’t Get Caught Up
It can be easy to caught up in the whirlwind of activities, events, and consumerism. I’m here to tell you to shut it down, until after the new year or even indefinitely. We are all different in our ability to consume the world of social media, but if you are feeling vulnerable, it’s ok to give yourself a break. Log out of your accounts or remove the apps from your phone. Take the time to connect with yourself, your immediate family, or those who bring you joy in the moment. Giving yourself this permission will make things so much easier. Promise.
“No” Is A Complete Sentence
Period. Full stop. When things get overwhelming, you can (and should) say “no.” You don’t need to explain, and you don’t need to justify. “No” is enough. Can’t handle the neighborhood cocktail party? Just say “no.” Not up to family dinner with your gaslighting uncle? “No.” It’s the right thing for your mental wellbeing.
Set Your Boundaries
Boundaries are SO incredibly important this time of year, and we must believe that we are worthy of both setting and sticking to them. Don’t be afraid to make the decisions to protect yourself and those you love most. Did your mother set family dinner right at baby’s nap time? Kindly let her know you’ll be late, after your little one has a chance to sleep so that everyone can enjoy their time better. Is your cousin inviting his racist sibling to their holiday gathering? Feel free to take a pass – you have the right not to be subjected to that kind of ugliness. Does your parent tend to make passive aggressive (or blatantly aggressive) comments about your appearance/weight/parenting/relationships? Don’t be afraid to let them know that you won’t be tolerating it, and that if they start up, you will be leaving. Yes, it can be scary, but it gets easier and you’ll feel better about yourself if you stick to your guns.
Be Gentle With Yourself
No matter what you are going through, just remember to be gentle with yourself. There’s no need to get down on yourself if you want to hide away from the world with a cozy blanket and a good book, stay in bed for a day, or just excuse yourself from people for a bit. Those who love you best will understand, support you, and will be there when you’re feeling more social again. You deserve nothing less.
How do you maintain a healthy mindset during the holidays?
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Michelle D. says
Great post! I love the whirlwind of the holiday season, but it can feel like too much sometimes. These are all great tips – I especially like No is a complete sentence!
That’s one of my favorite things. We don’t have to be all things to all people.
Now that my kids are gone, my holidays are pretty simple — maybe too simple! This year my daughter will be with us but my son hopes to be on his honeymoon if travel conditions permit. And there won’t be office holiday parties this year! So, any holiday things really are things I want to do — put up a tree, bake cookies, etc.
I love doing those things. Even when I lived alone, I always decorated and baked. It makes me so happy.
Deborah Brooks says
Learning how to set boundaries and saying no without feeling guilty is one of the best things I have done for myself. It is not easy but it is worth it for my own sanity
YES! It’s so important.
We do not go all out. No office parties now that I am working from home. Just a few with friends.
I think we are skipping family gifts. We all need nothing and buy what we want. Instead give to a charity and spend time together. Go out to a nice restaurant. At least that’s what I’m suggesting now that the kids are grown.
I really love getting gifts. And giving gifts. I don’t know why. We do buy our own things, but wrapped things are fun.
I love volunteering and giving back to charities!
We definitely don’t feel so much pressure since we don’t have human kids & we’re Jewish.
I can say, though, when you’re in caretaking mode it is important to take care of yourself — but also very difficult to do.
Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…The Trouble with Positive Splits + . . .
It is one of my greatest challenges.
Kimberly Hatting says
Saying “no” is one of my downfalls…in that I seldom ever say it. My big stressor during the holiday season, unfortunately, is my mother. She kind of has the attitude of entitlement, and hardly ever offers to do much with either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I am more than happy to host all the family gatherings (I do have a better-sized house for it, and I am 30 years younger, LOL), but it’s frustrating to have so much indifference.