The holidays, while being a spectacular time of the year filled with glee and generosity, can be a bit overwhelming. It can bring its fair share of stress as you pressure yourself to attend every party, every reunion, buy the most perfect gifts and commit to every family affair.
Here are 7 ways to beat the anxiety brought on by the holidays, so your best self still shines through as you welcome in the New Year:
1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
People, the weather, and other outside elements can be unpredictable. Plans don’t usually turn out the way you want them to. You may think that setbacks are horrible, but if you take your time to look around, it may be the reason that pulls you and your loved ones closer. Don’t stress about every little thing. Watch funny movies, tell jokes, and spend quality time together. Keep it light with laughter and love.
2. Treat yourself to something nice
The holidays aren’t only about giving to others. With all the gifts you need to buy and the parties you need to throw, it’s very easy to forget your own needs. Your body can only handle so much. To care for others, you first need to care for yourself. Go home early, read a book, schedule that well deserved foot massage. Do something special for yourself.
3. Organize a gift exchange
Groups of friends can avoid buying each and every single person in that circle a gift. Instead, organize a Secret Santa party that is not only amusing and imaginative, but it also doesn’t require everyone to spend too much on individual presents. Gift exchanges get even more fun and funnier when you stick to a theme or a budget forcing everyone into squeezing their creative holiday juices.
4. Don’t over-indulge
During the holidays, feasts and treats are abundant. You’ll be tempted to sample everything! You see a big basket of cookies, and you may just want to gobble it all in one sitting. Instead, start with one and drink a big glass of water. You’ll trick your stomach into thinking you’re full. You can take another one later on. Moderate yourself. You’ll regret it later on if you don’t.
5. Don’t forget your exercise routine
The holiday schedule is hectic, but there’s surely some room in there to keep up with your exercise routine. You can always squeeze in a quick run or 30-minute yoga session. It’s understandable that you may lose track of your normal habits during this time of year. The secret is to be mindful of your health particularly now during a season when temptations are offered left and right.
6. Make time to meditate
Ward of holiday stress by putting aside a little time for meditation. It’s a simple technique that can help reduce your stress, anxiety and help you achieve a greater capacity for relaxation. Look for a quiet place, sit, close your eyes and breathe your troubles out.
7. Relax, reflect and be grateful
The promise of the New Year always fills our hearts with hope. Take the time to reminisce about your experiences this past year. Quietly reflect on all the things you’ve done and things you should’ve done but for whatever reason, didn’t. Ask yourself:
What have I learned this year?
Did I accomplish anything?
What were this year’s highs and lows?
What can I leave behind this year to make sure I start the new year renewed and inspired?
Congratulate yourself for getting through the past year and be grateful for the opportunity to face a new exciting chapter of your life.
What to do next?
1. Revise your expectations and expect resistance
If you’re familiar with The Optimised Health Formula, then you know that Step 1 of successfully pulling out a strategy to optimise your health is to shift your mindset. We’ve looked at a few things you can do to improve your health. The ball is in your court. Yes, we all know that it takes more than just knowing what to do to actually do it.
That’s why I want to invite you to revise your expectations. Know that there will be resistance along the way. You might say to yourself “I’ll have a look tomorrow again”, “that’s not so urgent”, “I’m not sure that’s for me”, “I don’t think this will work for me”, or many other things. Often when we’re stepping out of our comfort zone (a.k.a. what we’ve been doing until now) we’re finding excuses to keep on doing what we’ve always done. The first step in success is acknowledging that. So… acknowledge where you’re at. Then…
Revise your expectations bearing in mind your goals AND your life. Not everything that I’ve shared in this blog post will resonate with you. Not everything will be applicable to you either. And that’s alright! But you’ve got to start somewhere.
So, as long as you’re clear on your goals and on your vision (Step 2 of The Optimised Health Formula), take a conscious decision of what you want to apply starting from today.
2. Carve out time, and make a plan
That’s where carving out time, and making a plan comes in. You know yourself at that stage better than I do. Use that knowledge to implement a plan of action that will help you start making positive changes into your life, that will soon bring positive changes in your health.
3. Just start
There’s no tomorrow in success. Any successful path starts today, with a small change that you keep on building onto. Commit to starting today with ONE small thing, and share with me in the comments what it is. This commitment will help you start – and keep – taking action!
4. Get support
We tend to want to do things on our own. I’m not stranger to that either. But I’ve learnt over time, and I’ve seen both with my personal coaching clients and professional mentoring clients, as well as with myself, that getting support helps to really create the change we’re after. So, if you’re stuck wondering what’s next, and you know you need help, I invite you to check out the many online resources I have created to help you reach your best of health: free articles, online community, online books and courses. If you’d like private personal coaching guidance, you can also book a call with me to discuss the personal coaching options that are available for your special needs.