This article marks the first article in our "Holiday Survival Guide Series." We're digging deep into the trenches to uncover what is so stressful about the holiday season, and how to overcome it.
Here's a list of FIVE habits that can kill your holiday bliss:
1. Big Meals and Binge Eating
Yes, that crispy apple pie tastes as succulent as it looks.... so does the ham, the mashed potatoes, the baked chicken, the cranberry sauce, the mac & cheese, the dinner rolls, and the sparkling cider. We know you've spent hours churning up a feast in the kitchen and rightfully deserve to splurge, but from a digestive perspective, unless you're an Olympic swimmer, your body isn't trained to eat 4,000 calories in one sitting.
The stress your digestive system undertakes may take days to clean out. If you're anything like me, you'll stretch your leftovers weeks after a hearty Thanksgiving meal. Leftovers aren't inherently horrible unless your body isn't used to digesting heavy foods. We'll discuss how to de-bloat after a feast and get your body back to feeling great again.
2. Massive Spending
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, save money Saturday... I made that last one up, but you have to admit, these sales days are getting out of hand. Many folks think of their budget as it relates to gift buying. It's much more than that. It's the food, the drinks, the decorations, the cards, the travel, and then the presents. It adds up. Without careful budgeting, you might find yourself stressing over nickels and pennies.
If you generously swipe your plastic at every corner, you might want to pump the breaks. Avoid taking on extra hours over the holiday season with smart budgeting. Use this time is to enjoy your friends and family. Your full presence may be the best present for your loved ones.
3. Last Minute Travel Plans
You were going to his relatives house, then your brother's place, now everything but your plane is up in the air. "Winging it" is okay when you don't have plane tickets to buy. Even then, before you hop in the car for a 6-hour drive to grandma's house, be sure to check the weather, the roads, and your vehicle. The last thing you want is to start the car, and the car stops before you're there yet.
It's never too early to make Holiday travel plans. Keeping an open line of communication with your spouse is crucial. Have you gone to visit your relatives for the last four years? Sit down and discuss where you're going, how you're traveling there, and the estimated costs. It's not bad to have a backup plan either. Icy roads and runways have a knack for derailing holiday plans in an instant.
4. Turkey Talk with the In-Laws
Her family voted the exact opposite of your family. This election cycle has been one for the record books. As we're giving thanks for the abundance we share, it may be best to avoid political conversation. There are plenty of other riveting discussion topics. If you find yourself venturing into political turkey talk, do so respectfully. This isn't merely politeness, but acknowledging the emotional impact this election had on both sides of the aisle.
Set the example for your kids that politics does not divide families, apathy does. Be willing to listen and understand. Or play a game of monopoly and release hostile energies there.
5. Losing Sight of Priorities
The icing on one of your sugar cookies is slightly crooked. Your kitchen descends into chaos. If every potential problem can send you over a cliff, you should consider dialing it back. As much as you'd like everything to be perfect, it's probably not going to be.
When you're wound up, you might have a tendency to lash out. Instead of turning up the tension in your home, take a minute to breathe. There are plenty of apps and videos that help you take 5 minutes out of your day to reset. You're making cookies for your daughter's 4th-grade class. They'll look at the icing for 3.7 seconds before your cookies are devoured. It'll be okay.
These are the first five topics we'll be covering in our holiday series. We're going to break down each of these habits, and how you can extract the ultimate level of happiness from your holidays.
What you do each day - your habits - determines your life. Are yours getting you where you want to go? Get our free Daily Habit PDF to know for sure.
Don't get stuck in analysis paralysis. Use this Power Wheel tool to know exactly where you need to start your journey to your unique center of health.