The grocery store is a telling place for how we tend to approach the holidays. Right now, each and every corner of the store is jam-packed with seasonal novelty items: candies, cookies, cakes, nuts, beverages—you name it. And then right when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, all of these items are replaced with bulk health food items like lentils, protein powders, and cleanses. The stores are depending on us to fall into our old patterns of indulging so heavily over the holidays that when the beginning of January comes, each of us feels the need to set strict limitations on our diet and exercise habits.
What if this year we thought about things a little differently? What if, instead of assuming that we will stuff ourselves to the brim only to feel terrible and sign up for strange restrictive diets in January, we base some of our decisions over the coming weeks on how we want to feel on January 1st? Now this does NOT mean I’m asking you not to partake in some of the holly-jolly treats of the season. But if we set some good intentions now around moderation and feeling good, then maybe we will feel less extreme about making changes just because it’s the new year.
Even if moderation with food is not your issue, maybe how you arrange your holiday time tends to drain you. Do you spend too much time over the holidays with people who make you feel stressed or negative? Do you try to pack in so many activities that you are actually exhausted once your vacation is over? We tend to perpetuate the same patterns each year, so take a minute to think back to what your patterns generally are. Then as you make your plans for the holidays, continually ask yourself whether how you are spending your time will make you feel depleted or energized once the holiday season has come to a close.
Here's to a relaxing, fun, memorable, and energizing holiday season.