Have you ever noticed if you ask a small child how they feel about the Holidays, most of them
get very excited, but if you ask a group of women you will get mixed reactions? Some love the
time of year, while others find it a little annoying. If you were to ask them individually one on
one, and guarantee confidentiality most women will admit to not liking some part of the season,
but feel guilty about having such a feeling. If you were to drill down deeper, many don’t even
know whey they feel guilty about not liking a concept such as the Holidays, many aren’t shy
about disliking the added responsibility of being in charge of putting on an entire production on
top of regular life for the kids and extended family, a few love it with every part of their soul and
others like parts but don’t like small things like having to tip the mailman or why is everything
about food or money in December?
All super valid observations and this is the deal: The Holidays can be a giant pain in the butt if
you let it be. It can also be business as usual or a really fun time, it is up to us to decide what the
holiday will be. If we do not decide ahead of time, it is very easy to get swayed in one way or
another due to the loud voice that is Christmas in our culture. However, let’s take a little time
here on Black Friday and decide how we want to feel post-Christmas
The 4 main stressors at Christmas
1) More on our plate-Where are we going to find extra time for the decorating, shopping,
Christmas Cookies with the kids, moving the stinking The Elf on the Shelf and remembering to
get gifts for the teachers, the principal and the secretary for your preschooler? Remember it is
supposed to be special so we cannot act stressed or cheat such as give the teachers gifts cards we
buy at Starbucks in bulk.
2) The Food-Let’s just admit how often celebration and food are intertwined in our culture. It
isn’t always a bad thing for a birthday which is intended to be one day. When the celebratory
period goes on for 6 or 7 weeks, is when our Heath can be impacted. With so many temptations
to eat poorly, it is even more important than usual that we stick to a strong sensible food plan.
Remember Christmas Eve and Dinner are only 2 meals, everything else is extra. Plan your
splurges, as in only on the actual meals, everything else should be business as usual. Drink a ton
of water as it will help you recognize true hunger versus thirst and be sure to eat tons of fiber to
keep things moving. Schedule your workouts at the beginning of the week and do not break your
commitment to yourself, reconnecting with your body will remind you of how you do not want
to lose focus just because everything around you is painted red and green.
3) Stress-I cannot remember any Christmas time songs about staying up until 3 am putting
together train sets, waiting in line for hours at the post office, avoiding your drunk co-worker at
the work party, making sure your child has the right Rudolph costume for the school plan and if
your Mother In Law is going to start pronouncing your name correctly after you have been
married to her son for 8 years! A lot of things we can not change. The sun will rise tomorrow,
and odds are your Mother In Law will still be herself when it does. However, you do not have to
say yes to every invitation you receive nor do you have to fall into the Pinterest trap of trying to
make everything picture perfect for your family. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
4) Money-How much are you going to spend this year? On your parents? The mailman? Teacher
gifts? A cute Holiday dress to wear to parties? Figure it out now, not in January when the credit
card bills arrive. If you have a giant extended family, maybe this is the year everyone throws
money together and the group decides they want to go to a local production of The Nutcracker
instead of exchanging gifts? I am willing to bet most people are fine with less stuff in their
homes. My husband and I like to take out kids on a family trip over the Holidays, so our kids
know we do not do a giant Christmas at home. Setting the expectation ahead of time makes
things a lot easier leading up to the actual day when I would have a tendency to panic and throw
money at the situation.
Once we break the Holiday stressors apart and really look at them, each one has a reasonable
solution. However, when you layer all on top of one another while Jingle Bell Rock is playing on
repeat in the background, it can make the most Zen of us want to scream.
If and when you are having a stressful moment, I want to you to come back to this question:
How do you want to feel when you wake up on January 2nd?
Now that you have thought about it.
What sort of an action plan do you need to get there? If you want to wake up feeling great,
relaxed and not having a freakout about the extra 5 lbs you gained since Halloween and how
much money you have spent. Let that decision impact how you spend your time, what you eat
and drink, your budget and the way you deal with any stress. This is where the magic happens.
When you don’t stress eating Christmas cookies at 3 a.m. while trying to remember where you
put the Elf On The Shelf the previous night. The Christmas Miracle will happen this morning
when you decide what gift you are going to give yourself on January 2nd. Only you can give it
and you cannot regift it 🙂
Tomorrow-Grain on the Brain
If you have any questions or comments during the 31 days of Wellness, feel free to email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we can figure out a solution to your Holiday dilemma.
Together we will be Happy and Healthy this Holiday Season.