Surviving the holidays without sacrificing your peace of mind

Do you want to survive the holidays?


The Key to Surviving the Holidays this Year

Holidays can be an intense and stressful time.

for so many of us for so many reasons. I know my emotions have been going up and down like a roller coaster!

I find myself in total bliss one minute, watching my daughter study her lines for the Christmas play, or sitting under the Christmas tree with my cup of coffee and egg nog, and in total tears the next minute, realizing my house looks like a tornado just struck it because there are so many excess items around, and extra activities taking time away from general organization. Of course, it’s hard to keep up!

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE these extra items and activities (mostly). But it can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because all of the regular stuff that fills our days the other 11 months of the year doesn’t stop.

It is cray-cray!

Kids need help with homework, our mind is filled with negativity, sick relatives need our love and attention, our driveways need shoveling, our cars need gas, dinner needs to be cooked, and we can’t fit into our jeans.

On top of that, the holidays make us think about our past. Sometimes this is great and sometimes it is not-so-great. For many it is very stressful, as painful memories and anticipation of seeing judgmental family members fill us with anxiety.

Or, you are grieving a special person who is no longer with you. <3

Also, the financial stress of the extra spending can be very heavy. And the sheer exhaustion of juggling it all could have us begging for relief!

Well, relief is here. If you are overwhelmed, keep reading!

Revitalization for Surviving the Holidays

Click to tweet: 7 things to do to keep your peace of mind this #holiday @JodiAman #christmas

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Here are 7 things you can do for surviving the holidays and  keep your peace of mind.

1. Appreciate yourself.

Allow yourself a pregnant pause several times throughout your day to celebrate your accomplishments (big and small). Too often we see what we haven’t done yet instead of taking a look at what we have accomplished.

Remember nothing is too little to give yourself credit for. This is a great practice for building confidence anyway. Watch Trust and Anxiety.

I’m telling you, taking those moments to say “This counter looks so clean!” once you are done with the dishes, will GIVE you energy for the rest of what is on your list.

If I ever miss this step, I usually run out of steam and have to get up early the next day to make up for what I didn’t do. Never, ever, ever, ever miss this step!

2. Sleep

Don’t give up sleep to get everything done. Lack of sleep decreases all of our other functioning. And that is not helpful.

Try to get rid of things on your list that you do not NEED to do. Just get rid of them. We do not need more complication. You know what I am talking about. Keep things simple.

Stop worrying about what you have to get done at midnight and go to sleep. To get my to do list out of my head I write it down for an instant clear head.

Get at least 7 hours. If you are not doing that, you are shortening your life. Getting your presents wrapped perrrrrrfectly is surely not worth that.

If I need to miss some sleep to get something important done, I always make sure I make time to catch up. Don’t say there is no time. This is important. You make time.

3. Set limits for yourself

Learn to say no! This was hard for me for a long time. Especially to my children. I said “Yes” because I felt guilty, and then I begrudgingly did what they asked all the while making them feel guilty for making me do it.

How about that for victimhood?

I knew this wasn’t right, and started to think before I answered and gave them a clear yes or a clear no, without any mind games. In doing that, I taught them how to set limits, and how to recover from disappointment. Now it is easier to say no to all kinds of things that I can’t put my heart and soul into.

I stopped trying to set limits for everyone and learned how to just set them for myself. (See Setting awesome personal boundaries)

Keep things simple. For example, when I entertain, the menu is always very simple with a few winning dishes that are efficient to make. And when we are too overwhelmed to entertain, we don’t.

4. Nourish your loved ones

One thing I am trying to do is really be present when I am greeting people. I just spent the weekend with my nieces and nephews and everytime I said hello and goodbye, I was absolutely present and thinking about how special they each are. (They could feel that.)

I went to lunch with a friend last week, and we locked eyes and expressed how happy we were to see each other. People crave presence. They are hustling and bustling. Give them a moment to pause in space in that smile and excitement of greeting, and without much effort you are feeding their soul.

But also for real, nourish. Eat well over the holidays. There is plenty to indulge on, and that’s fun too, but balance it out with some home cooked whole, fresh foods for yourself and your families.

5. Gratitude

Practice gratitude in everything you do. I have been writing thank you texts, and emails, and notes all of this month for #31daysofgratitude, and it has been amazing. And I have gotten a bunch, too.

6. Ease up

Cut yourself some slack! Stop judging every little thing about yourself! It’s ridiculous! Let yourself off the hook for some of those huge out of reach expectations. Celebrate what you do, and keep improving and growing, and let the rest go!

7. Find stillness

Set aside some time to be quiet. In the morning or in the evening or both. Light a candle, put on your tree lights, curl around a hot drink and breathe.

I recorded this meditation to help you relax and revitalize yourself through these crazy anxious filled weeks! It is called the Sponge Meditation and I learned it from my teacher Marcie Seidel.

Will you commit to taking care of yourself so you can survive the holidays? Tell me how!

20 thoughts on “Surviving the holidays without sacrificing your peace of mind”

  1. Okay, I’ll ease up. And find some balance. I probably have a little too much stilnessl since I write and paint, so I’ll have to fit exercise in.

    1. I’ve been learning about the brain and I can’t believe how important exercise is for overall health. Your brain work, you work. Exercise increases brain function, though I don’t think your art could get any better than it is!

  2. This will be the third Christmas cancelled since my son died a little over 2 years ago. I just can’t feel good about celebrating in any way at all- and the 25th is my birthday as well. It isn’t that I do not want to feel better, or celebrate his life rather than mourn his death. It is that there is no wonder, no peace, no joy and I am not one to fake it.
    I say no to everything now and especially at this time of year. The upside is, I don’t have to stress about the preparations and expectations – there are none. I can’t stay off of the internet, as it is my only way to connect to the world, but it is hard to see all of the posts from others. I can be happy for them and still feel that void in my life. I though this was the year that I would be able to volunteer some time at a nursing facility, but no, not yet. There is no joy to share with others yet.
    I am looking for the calm in me to take over and help me through this. Thanks Jodi for all you do for all of us. Gentle hugs to you my friend.

    1. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and wholeness. I am glad that you can be honest with yourself and not push beyond what you can handle. When the time is right you will know it and be able to extrovert again. You and other mourners are in my daily prayers.

  3. I will and I need too Jodi.
    This time is magical for me but surprisingly enough it seems to make people quite crazy around me, Money matters. And cooking. And house being ready to welcome people. And not enough time. I can’t deal with this and with people worries, anger, , …
    So I will take good care of myself. Cause if not, I will end up causing myself much pain. And I don’t want it.
    Have a blessed week.

  4. These are some great tips, Jodi. This certainly can be a tough time of year, especially for those of us who are reminded of painful past memories. I think it’s important to take extra care of ourselves during this time, as each of your tips here are getting at. Things can certainly get crazy and hectic but we have to take the time to think about ourselves too if we are going to be able to enjoy the holidays.
    Melissa Wilson recently posted..Learning to Believe In Yourself Again After AbuseMy Profile

  5. I decided to ease up on the cooking and baking for when family and friends will be over during these next couple of weeks. I’m going to keep things simple with quick easy recipes. Thank you!

  6. I will reach inside to find that inner peace and stillness and not allow my chaotic thoughts sweep me away into depression and anxiety. That’s my goal for myself!

  7. Great ideas and suggestions, Jodi! I make sure I continue my exercise routine whether it’s yoga or power walking. Fresh air and moving my body ease mental stress for me. The other thing is to remember we can’t make everyone happy. The holdiays makes us feel as though that’s exactly what we have to do when it’s actually impossible. Thanks for these reminders!
    lisa thomson-the great escape recently posted..The Martini Diaries-Dickens’ LessonsMy Profile

  8. I will survive the holidays because I always do. I will survive the stress of before the holidays and the tiredness and pain of after holidays as well as the loneliness and sadness of them. Knowing i will survive doesn’t really make it easier. I am on the same roller coaster you are talking about. On every different front things seem to go wrong, so wrong. Surviving them is not the problem, but the problem is to get what helps make them easier. All the different steps you mentioned are so important and i practice them all. The only thing missing is to be/ connect with those I love

  9. That’s an important security aspect of Paypal – your card information is not exposed Thanks for stopping by and do have a wonderful day.

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