The holiday season can be an emotional and energetic rollercoaster. On the one hand there’s time to relax with family, fun events to look forward to, and a general feeling of love and generosity.
And then come all the energy drains that feel unavoidable this time of year:
- Year-end deadlines to meet (leading to mounting to-do lists)
- Presents to buy (which is simultaneously fun and stressful)
- Parties to attend (some you’re excited about, some not so much)
- New Year’s goals to set (and the creeping fear that they won’t last until February…again)
- Packed schedules and food temptations (meaning less focus on health and greater likelihood of getting sick)
- Cold weather and short days (making you want to curl up in bed at 8pm)
All of these energy drains are normal around the holidays, but they can leave you feeling less than motivated at an especially hectic time of year. And when your motivation is low, that’s when stress and negative self-talk tend to swoop in without invitation. For some people, this shows up as extreme procrastination and resistance. For others, their inner “gremlin” or inner critic goes crazy and starts chattering away: “What do you mean you don’t feel like doing anything but watching Netflix? You’re so lazy. Just suck it up and do what you need to do.” Some people’s immune systems become compromised and they get run down and sick.
So how can you stay healthy and happy and peaceful this holiday season? Here are our suggestions:
- Clear out the energy drains so you can focus on the important things. Cheryl Richardson suggests making a list of your top 10 energy drains. What does she consider an energy drain? “Everything undone, incomplete or unresolved drains your energy.” So that includes anything from “I need to vacuum out the car” to “I’m two weeks late paying the cable bill.” Then she recommends labeling each item as “do it,” “hire it,” or “chuck it” … we challenge you to make the “do it” category as small as possible!
- Make the process feel good. We’ve written about this before, so remember that the journey should feel like the destination.
- Ask for help and accountability. Let’s face it – being accountable to only yourself just doesn’t generate the same level of motivation and productivity as being accountable to someone else. So find someone in your life who can be a supportive, non-judgmental, objective accountability partner. (Hint: Coaches are really good at this. It’s one of the major reasons why people hire us.)
- “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can straight up cancel today” – Anonymous. Putting things off feels like tension. Canceling things feels like creating space. And this time of year, we could all use some more space.
This year, decide to stop buzzing through the holiday season in a blur of busyness. Be present with friends and family. Decide what’s really important and forget the rest. Choose to be the sane, calm pillar in the midst of the holiday chaos. Say “yes” when it feels good and “no, thanks” when you’re not feelin’ it. And go ahead, watch some Netflix. ‘Tis the season.
Kristen & Rachel