Seven Hot Tips to Help you Deal with the Haters through the Holidays
I hear you... you're ready to ROCK this holiday season! You want to have fun, be goofy, and do your own thing!!
Not so fast...
The holidays are almost upon us, and for some this time of year can be really hard. I feel you.
Regardless of your traditions or plans, everyone faces stress this time of year and it seems to be magnified when it comes to health, self esteem, and body image!
The holiday period is often a time of over-indulgence, guilt, spending time with people who are all too quick to shame based on your body, loss of routine, then at the end we decide to put a bow on top with a New Years Resolution that we know we won't keep more than a couple weeks into the year.
Not so much.
What if this year could be different??
Here are my top tips to create the holiday season you deserve! These will help you deal with those negative, body shaming people and that extra stress that tends to pile up this time of year...
1. Begin each day with a self check-in.
Often we jump out of bed and are running from the first second, but we never actually take the time to stop and ask ourselves how we want to show up. Do we want to have a calm day? Be happy? Feel balanced? By slowing down and checking in with yourself, you can choose HOW you want to show up! Setting intentions for your day and deciding who you want to be really is a game changer.
This can take many forms. It could be a short guided meditation (I use this app most days), a visualization, or even tapping (if you don't know what tapping is, check out this intro video to get the low down!)
If you know you're going to have to deal with some especially challenging situations or people, it might be tempting to just do what they do. Take on that negativity, be stressed, become a Grinch. But what if instead you chose instead to lead by example?
By choosing how you want to show up in each moment, when you are faced with those body shamers, those family members who press all your buttons, or a super stressful day, you can take a deep breath, remember WHO you are choosing to be in that moment, and have a much better experience!
2. Self Care is your friend!
There are quite a few points to this one, but the whole idea is that you feel nourished and taken care of. If you are caring for your mental, physical & emotional health you are going to be much better equipped to deal with the stresses the holidays bring! That critical aunt? No problem. That annoying second cousin? Easy!
By filling your cup first you can create some internal balance which will leave you in a much better place to handle whatever's thrown at you.
Some self care ideas include:
Sleep: Aim for that magic 8 hours if possible. More rest will help to keep your emotions stable and your stress low.
Stay hydrated: You'll feel physically better, have more energy, have a clear head and feel more balanced if your body is running optimally.
Limit alcohol: During the holidays there is often a lot more alcohol around, so choose mindfully if you want to indulge. And if you do then great! Just remember what you're signing up for - the headache, hangover, and lethergy. That combined with difficult people is not such a great combo.
Keep moving: Exercise is great for your physical health, plus is produces endorphins in the brain which are those feel-good happy chemicals! Even a walk around the block can do wonders for your physical and mental health!
3. Enjoy food.
The holidays is often a time of over-consumption that leads to guilt, bloating, and regret. Instead of taking part in this roller coaster again, why not make the choice to truly enjoy the food that you have?
The holidays only come around once each year, so take the time to really savor everything you eat! Remember to be conscious of what you're eating. Just because you're enjoying it doesn't mean you have to eat everything in huge quantities without thinking. Make a conscious choice to have that piece of cake or those cookies. No guilt, but no food-robots either.
Being grateful for your food is also a great strategy to bring in more feel-good fuzzy warmth to the situation! If you take the time to remind yourself that you are lucky - not everyone in the world has access to abundant, healthy food - you're much more likely to enjoy it and curb those feelings of regret.
And if you do overdo it, then instead of lying on the couch feeling sorry for yourself, try a natural remedy to get you feeling better. Something like a belly massage, some gentle stretching, some DigestZen rubbed on your belly or taken internally (read more about DigestZen here), or a walk around the block may be in order!
4. Practice Gratitude.
I always recommend a daily gratitude practice as it has so many amazing benefits!! From promoting physical health, resilience, happiness, and so much more, gratitude has been proven to be an incredible tool.
For the holiday season (or, ya know, every day ideally...) get a journal and write 10 things you're grateful for each and every day! At least one of them should be about your body, and if possible at least one of them should be about the person or situation that you're feeling the most stressed or worried about at the moment. If we can feel gratitude and appreciation for the challenging people in life, perhaps for the lessons they've taught us about boundaries, perhaps for the way our resilience has been created spending time with them, it can completely transform how we see them and the stress we feel from the situation.
5. Support your emotions.
There are countless ways of dealing with challenging emotions. Here are a few suggestions that are perfect for the holiday season and the whole year round!
Journaling: Great as part of your daily morning check in, a journal is a wonderful place to reflect, to vent your stress, to write your intentions, or to do some soul searching! Whether you free-write or use journaling prompts, a journal is a fantastic tool to help support your mental and emotional health.
Essential Oils: There are many essential oils that are wonderful for emotional support, but a few of my personal favourite blends include:
Cheer (the Uplifting Blend)
Peace (the Reassuring Blend)
Balance (the Grounding Blend)
These oils are wonderful used topically or diffused into a room. As a bonus they will affect the emotions of anyone exposed to them, so if you'd like to create a sense of peace or balance in your space, diffusing a blend can do just that!
Venting to a Friend: We all need to just let off steam sometimes, so by speaking with a friend and being each others emotional support through the holidays you can create a backup plan for those stressful situations that are bound to arise!
Whichever method(s) feel the best to you, make sure to keep each of your emotionally supportive habits going through the holidays and even amp them up if needed!
6. Create boundaries.
One of the amazing thing about being an adult is that you have a choice. If you have someone in your family who you really don't want to spend time with, then don't! Yes of course you can't completely avoid them, but honestly there are ways... What is someone decides to start a critical conversation about your body? Oops, I've got to run to the bathroom! Shall we talk about how you're a failure? Nope, it's time for me to refill my veggie plate at the buffet... Avoidance tactics are a great tool to have up your sleeve.
If there is someone at the function who totally gets you, who understands that that person is difficult, then why not create a game plan? Help each other out and get a plan in place for when those hard conversations are forced on you... Maybe it's as simple as intervening or asking to borrow them for an important project and rescuing them from a conversation! The other person doesn't need to know the project is just to hide out in the den and chat about life...
Another wonderful tactic is to create an energetic shield. Though this may seem a little woowoo to some people, I find this very useful and often quite effective. Before you walk into a space or a situation that you're anticipating could be challenging and stressful, pause. Close your eyes, take a deep breathe, and imagine a bubble around you. This could take on the form of something like a turtle shell, a warm blanket, or a halo of light. Whatever it is for you, if you picture it blocking our negative energy and keeping your energy safe it can be really helpful!
7. When in doubt, this too shall pass
If none of these points work and you're feeling hopeless, there's always this. Nothing lasts forever and if the holidays end up being shit just remember that they are not for the rest of your life.
At some point, January will roll around. Life will go on!
With these tools in place, you are much better equipped to deal with the stress of the holidays plus those people who feel that shaming and criticizing you is part of their mission in life.
Each and every day, every moment, you have the power to show up exactly as you wish. With the energy, the intention, and the presence you want. So remember by caring for yourself and setting yourself up energetically you are going to rock this holiday season!
What can you do in the lead up to the holidays to get prepared?
- Buy a journal and start a daily gratitude practice.