Just say “No!” to Holiday Stress

Ready or not, here they come . . . the holidays!

By the time you’re reading this, you’ll be drinking your favorite caffeinated beverage out of a red Starbucks coffee cup, and feeling the nervous anticipation brought on by the holiday season

Who doesn’t start off loving this time of year? Especially a few weeks out from Thanksgiving when our calendars are wide open and visions of parties are dancing in our heads?

Many of us begin channeling our inner Santa early. Without much thought, we say “Yes!” eagerly and extravagantly to every request or invitation that comes our way. Sure, we’ll be happy to bake holiday cookies for school, donate our time to worthy causes, and show up mid-week at parties even though we have a year-end project at work with a hard deadline. Bring it on!

No wonder we end up on New Year’s doorstep feeling like a dried out Christmas tree waiting for garbage pick-up.

Over-commitment.

It’s the number one reason why we feel tremendous holiday distress, and it can easily steal the joy out of the season if we’re not careful. Expertly disguised as generosity, over-commitment starts out with good intentions. We want to be there for friends and family. We want to help those in need. And if we’re honest, there’s always a bit of “fear of missing out” sprinkled in for good measure.

But in the end, that spirit of generosity becomes overwhelmed by sheer exhaustion, and no one comes out on the other side feeling like his or her best holiday self.

Is it possible to avoid all of this and still feel like we gave our all to the cause of peace, joy, and holiday love? Absolutely! Try this easy, 3-step process for learning how to balance the generosity of saying, “Yes!” with the wellness practice of saying, “Thanks, but no thanks!” during the holidays:

  • Connect: How do you want to feel during the holiday season? Say “Yes!” to feeling happy, healthy, joyful, excited, helpful, generous, spirit-filled, peaceful, calm, and relaxed. Practice saying “Thanks, but no thanks!” to feeling obligated, over-scheduled, exhausted, sluggish, and over-whelmed.
  • Choose: Hold all your daily choices, requests, and invitations up to the feelings you chose. Say, “Yes!” to the ones that bring you closer to the joy of the holiday season and feeling like your best-self. Practice saying “Thanks, but no thanks!” to those that feel weighty or energy zapping.
  • Celebrate!/Change Course: Take time to check in each day. When you feel like you are channeling the spirit of the season, say “Yes!” and celebrate. Do more of that! If you begin to feel the weight of over-commitment, simply say, “Thanks, but no thanks!” and get back on course with better, more life-affirming choices.

Bottom line: peace, joy, and holiday happiness thrive when surrounded by a generous amount of space. Loading up your calendar with activities and obligations just because it’s the season to be jolly is a recipe for an unhealthy holiday meltdown.

Who wants to do it differently this year? Why not head out to Glen Ivy for some wellness downtime before the holiday requests begin to roll in. Relax in a warm pool. Wrap yourself in a soft cozy robe and take some time to consider how to keep your wellness on track over the next few weeks.

Giving yourself the gift of wellness is the single best thing you can do to ensure that there is an endless supply of feel-good energy to share with the people you love and care about over the holidays. Who’s in?

Meg Root is the resident wellness expert at Glen Ivy, where she teaches weekly fitness classes and wellness workshops. Check our activities calendar for times and dates, and follow her weekly “Well-spirations” at Megroot.com or her Instagram @wellnessacts.

Posted in: Learn & Grow |

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