As soon as Thanksgiving arrives, the official holiday countdown will begin. How you handle the stress of Thanksgiving will set the tone for the rest of the rituals, family/ friends’ get-togethers, gifts, meals and expense. You need to prepare, have a plan in place, so as to change the holiday dynamics to revitalize and unleash your inner child. Remember when you used to anticipate the holidays? This year make a list of all the things you dislike about the holiday season and cross them off your list!
When you are busy making plans and working hard to celebrate, don’t forget to live and enjoy. Creating space in your heart for what really matters will help you lighten up and be happier with less stuff. As soon as you start to feel anxious and the least bit negative, breathe deeply to return to center. Inhale 2 counts through the nose; then exhale 4 counts through the nose to lower your blood pressure and oxygenate your brain to reduce stress and think more clearly about your priorities.
Here are 5 coping strategies for traditional joy killers:
- Perfectionism: Nothing is perfect in all aspects for long and when you aim too high, stress will melt your success in one arena by depleting you in another. Consider simplifying recipes and presentations, delegating tasks and letting other people shine at your table with their signature dishes. Consider serving buffet style which allows guests to sample and stealthily go for seconds. You don’t need to prove how good you are. Rather, you need to be present to serve love at your table as opposed to hiding in the kitchen.
- Annoying family: You can choose your friends, but oh those family members who push your buttons, interrogate you about those vulnerable, low self-esteem points of your identity! Break their spell and disarm them with compliments and humor; give them your full attention which is what they crave. Before the big day give yourself the present of self-confidence physically or mentally, a haircut, flattering outfit, or amusing anecdote to relate along with prepared answers for the interrogators, in order to greet them with bright shiny eyes, a warm touch and upbeat voice. If they are negative, turn their mood around by giving off good vibes.
- The expense: Simplify the material aspect of essentially spiritual holidays. Aim for low key and comfortable. Keep spending in line with your funds and this means spending less time and money shopping to avoid a looming debt that will haunt you for months to come. Remember when you went out on a simple date with someone dreamy as opposed to an expensive date with someone you couldn’t wait to ditch? If you value spending more quiet time with your loved ones, friends or neighbors, feel free to let go of last year’s expectations and obligations.
- Tedious traditions: Create new, easy rituals.
- The weight gain: Supercharge your workout as the old formula holds true of calories in versus calories out. Budget your eating which means if you indulge in a meal or a party, then eat healthier, low calorie meals for the next few days to balance it all out. Easier to deal with a debt of a couple of pounds versus a debt of five to seven pounds. Tighten your belt as opposed to loosening it while you eat. Fill up on conversation. Taste everything like the French do, but in small portions.
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