top of page
  • Writer's pictureRakel

HEALTHY HOLIDAY HABITS (or anytime during the year)

Oh, the joy of Christmas Stress. Wait... What...?

Sometimes it feels like to be able to get into the Christmas Spirit first you need a little bit of Christmas Stress. You know that everyday lingering discomfort in your gut telling you that you are probably not going to make that deadline without overtime & sleep-deprivation? Well, the time leading up to Christmas can often feel like multiplying that everyday-feeling of scarcity with a million added to the feeling that you´ re probably not going to master the turkey this year. Being productive enough can be hard enough on a regular Wednesday, let alone during Christmas time where everything, (including your boss, your spouse, your friends, your mom, society) is on complete overload. In the midst of all that, it can be difficult to stay calm.

Our success is often measured in our productivity: if you´ re productive enough then you´ re good enough. And there is always room for improvement. We can always do just a little bit better, both at work as well as on the home front. Right?

Well, according to the "10 Guideposts to Whole-Hearted Living" by researcher and author Brené Brown, cultivating play & rest as well as cultivating calm & stillness are important factors to living a fuller and happier life. We should be careful with using our productivity as a measure of self worth as well as letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol. So how can we enjoy the Holidays without risking that stressful "running-on-an-empty-tank" situation?

# 1 Prioritize

Find a calm moment where you can sit down and write an overview of work and family-related duties ahead. What needs to be done and what does not? Prioritize things that you know NEED to be done and then things you would like or LOVE to do and do just them. Skip the rest. You don´ t need to attend seven different holiday parties and host three-course-meals every week for your friends leading up to Christmas. Prioritize according to your wants & needs (and your time) and stick with it!

# 2 Create boundaries

Being a people-pleasing perfectionist looks good on the outside but rarely feels good on the inside. Striving for success should not be confused with perfection or unrealistic expectations. Healthy striving helps you reach your goals and makes you happy with your achievements and choices. Striving for perfection is a recipe for failure and ultimately you will be the one suffering.

See if you can try to let go of your tendency to perfection with a bit of self-compassion. Chances are that you are doing the best you can. We´ re all trying to find that balance where we feel that we are appreciated, loved and fulfilled. Approaching yourself with kindness and self-compassion is the first step towards that balance and having boundaries is an important step. My kids come home almost every day before Christmas with invitations for different parties or events that require that I bake a cake or bring juice or make something else or the other. Well, actually... not this Christmas. Thanks, covid19. Usually though, I get bombarded with requests to make healthy snacks or foods for events leading up to Christmas. I prioritize according to my time, wants & needs (and the needs & wants of my children) and say no to those parties & events that I feel I don´ t have time to do. It makes me happy that I can contribute and help out with the ones that I chose to do and not resentful towards ALL events because I didn´t set boundaries and was people-pleasing my way through it all.