|Ahhh……the holidays. Are you looking forward to them – or dreading them? Do you feel like the holidays are something to endure with a stiff upper lip? Do you feel like you can’t wait to get them over with?How many holidays have you spent rushing yourself into a frazzle, doing things you don’t enjoy, and being with people you don’t delight in? How many times have you eaten too much, exercised too little, worn yourself out, or felt bored?Don’t Let The Holiday Break Leave You Broken
The problem is that too many of us think a “holiday break” means we can (or must) abandon what’s truly important to us and go on a mindless binge, doing what we would never normally do. Or we feel bound to “do the kinds of holiday things people do.”
While a holiday can offer you a “break” from your normal routine, it should not be a break from things that are important to you. It should not be a time when you “do what others want you to do” at the expense of your own physical and psychological health.
On the contrary, the holidays should afford you the opportunity to celebrate what you love and honor what you value. But how can you achieve this?
Here’s How To Get Started First:
Always allow yourself to have a “say-so” over how you spend your holiday.
The bigger your family, the more tempting it may be to “give in” to what other family members want to do. Don’t do that. Encourage each family member to share what would be enjoyable to them – and set the example by starting with yourself. Ask yourself: What delights you? What makes you happy? Do you like to hike, play ball, make music, engage in good conversation? Do you like being with people who share your interests? Do you like big gatherings or do your prefer being with your spouse or a few special friends? Do you like delicious food? Do you like some combination of the above? What else do you like? Be sure your holiday plans include things you want to do with people you like being with.
Ask yourself if your traditional (or random) way of spending the holidays is the happiest way for you to spend the holidays.
If so, keep enjoying what you’ve been doing. But if not, you can stop being hostage to old habits that no longer bring you much enjoyment and start a new tradition that brings you much more enjoyment. For years my husband and I travelled far to huge family reunions and we were worn out with all the preparations, presents, travelling, constant relating, too little exercise and too much eating. We often found ourselves celebrating with folks who meant less to us than with folks who meant more to us. Not only that, we were doing things we didn’t enjoy doing instead of doing things we liked doing. We used to have talent shows, make music, hike and square dance at our reunions, but over time we stopped doing those things and spent most of the time sitting, eating and talking. My husband and I finally stopped going to these reunions and started spending time doing things we loved with fewer people whom we enjoyed more. (And so did many of the other folks who used to go to those reunions! We still see each other occasionally, but in smaller groups, doing things we like.)
Ask yourself how you would choose to spend the holidays if it were all up to you.
There is no rule that says you have to “go somewhere” or “be with other people” during the holidays. You may want to have some precious alone time. Or you may want to travel to see new people and places. Or you might want to do a project with your spouse. Ask yourself: What things have you always dreamed of doing “if only you had the time?” Sing, read, hike, dance, play guitar, visit with friends and family, write, travel, explore, have more alone time, pamper yourself, give the house a face-lift, plan for your future? What else? Consider incorporating some of these things into your holiday!
You get the idea. Remember, your life and your time are yours to shape and to spend in the most enjoyable way you can. Don’t ever throw away your chance to strive for the most fulfilling life you can live. Stop putting your life on “hold” for what you think you “should” do during the holidays – and use the holidays to magnify your enjoyment of life and the people you love!
I’d love to hear how these steps work for you — feel free to email me at Terry@YourRecipeForLivingCoach.com, or post a comment on my Break Free Blog atwww.YourRecipeForLivingCoach.com. Please know that you are welcome to share this BREAK FREE TIP by forwarding this message to a friend or colleague.