The holiday season is here, boldthinkers!
Catalogs are arriving in the mail, people are planning for black Friday, travel itineraries are being drafted, and stores are already decked out.
How do you feel about all of this?
Are you ready?
What does that holiday season mean to you?
At Bold Ladies’ Night Out, we explored these questions while we shopped, enjoyed desserts, sipped champagne, and enjoyed each other’s company.
For a lot of people, the holiday season is not as festive as the glossy ads, upbeat commercials, and sparkly social media posts make it sound.
The holiday season can be:
stressful because there are more demands on your time.
overwhelming because you may be spending extra money – often times money you don’t really have.
joyless because thinking about seeing friends and relatives while worrying about them judging you on your weight or appearance is never a treat.
frustrating because the end of the calendar year is coming to any end – and you may start to question whether you’ve maximized the time you had.
detrimental to your self-love habits because you abandon your commitment to yourself while filling your time with other things that seem urgent, but could honestly wait.
While we discussed these factors that may dampen a merry holiday season – we talked about specific ways to keep the holiday season full of joy, self-care, love, downtime, and meaningful connections.
Create a self-love calendar. Make a list of 15-to-30 things and activities you can do to show yourself that you love you. Things you could list are: get 8 hours of sleep, skip the cookie exchange, spend more time with XX because she’s upbeat, more sex with my partner, walk outside, try 3 new slow cooker recipes, etc. With the items listed on your self-love activities, put one activity of your calendar each day during the holiday season. Don’t think about doing it. Commit to it by scheduling the time and do not let something bump your self-love activity off your daily schedule.
Make a list of what you love about the holiday season. Anything that makes you happy, puts you in a good mood, and lends itself to you having fun during the holiday season – write it down. I have seen clients write things like: the smell of pine, seasonal coffee drinks, exchanging ornaments, making holiday gifts to give, holiday movies, sledding, etc. Your list is personal and specific to you, so don’t hold back on your list.
Plan your holiday activities based on your “what I love” list. Use your “love” list as the filter through which you run all holiday plans, activities, and spending . When people invite you to holiday events, check your “love” list. If the event will support your “love” list – say yes. If the event feels like a struggle and you are tense about it because nothing on your “love” list is covered – politely say no – without any extra explanation. It may feel uncomfortable to say no at the time, but you will rejoice in keeping your time free of obligations that make you feel burdened, stressed, and not in control of how you are spending your time during this holiday season.
Keep the traditions that are joyful – abandon the ones that aren’t. We’re often tied to traditions because it’s the way we’ve done things year after year. If you think about traditions that are laborious instead of being affirming – get rid of the former. Instead of focusing on letting others down because you are no longer tied to a tradition – shift the attention to yourself. Think about what it means to let yourself down. Talk to yourself and weigh the pros and cons. You matter and you should be considered, plus, it is okay to upgrade a tradition to help it work for you.
Use play to downplay the unavoidable craziness of being with loved ones. While I was going through my coach certification program with Martha Beck, she taught us about creating a dysfunctional family BINGO grid to help you get through difficult times with loved ones. You can make your own or you can use the one I’ve created. The point is – turning tense, stressful, and arduous situations into a game will support you in avoiding being driven crazy by loved ones. And, you can have fun playing dysfunctional family BINGO while competing with your friends instead of losing your mind.
What do you love about the holiday season? What tweaks or upgrades will you make to experience more of what you love during this holiday season?