The holidays… for most of us, you either love them or hate them.
Whatever way you lean, dealing with the winter and all of its festivities can put you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Work obligations, family considerations, travel logistics, gift-giving – it’s a lot to pile on at once. Worse still, it makes it too easy to forget to prioritize your own wellbeing.
And what happens when you don’t prioritize yourself? Apart from feeling overwhelmed and fatigued, you can start to make some less-than-ideal decisions.
Whether you see yourself as a Festive Francesca or an Elusive Elle, the holidays this year can be different. You can become more aware of your decisions so that the holidays work out better for you.
Ready for a Winter Wonderland? Festive Francesca
Take Francesca, for example.
Francesca loves the holidays and wants to make the most of them, so she accepts every invitation that comes her way. Secretly, she is hoping that she might meet a nice man at one of these events. The problem is, since work is busy too, Francesca’s not able to do everything she wants without losing sleep.
All the same, she can’t resist accepting a date with James, one of the men she recently met at a holiday party. Even though she’s completely exhausted by the time the night of their date arrives, she feels like she can’t cancel so late and goes. But because she drinks a lot of coffee to stay awake with so little sleep, she isn’t able to relax and have fun like her typical self.
Francesca is the perfect example of so many of us who have trouble pacing ourselves over the holidays. It happens in an instant – before you know it, you’ve booked your calendar full of winter fun and family, only to forget that you need some time for yourself to stay centered as well. For many of us, its as simple as having trouble saying “no” or even realizing you can say “no” to an invite– a problem many women battle with all year long.
Unfortunately, when we don’t prioritize our well-being, it can sabotage our goals and our fun. Francesca decided sleeping wasn’t a priority and it caught up to her, making it impossible for her to really enjoy her time with James. Although her main goal in accepting so many invites was to meet a nice man, not taking care of herself ultimately hurt her chances with a potentially nice man – James.
When you pay attention to the choices you are making, you can more easily say “no” to less important time commitments and take better care of yourself overall. It’s important to remember that we’re all different. What’s right for your best friend may not be the best approach for you to take during the holidays. Let’s take Elusive Elle, for example.
Waiting for the Holidays to End? Elusive Elle
Maybe the holidays aren’t your favorite time of year, and you’re more like Elle.
Elle has had a lot of family problems so the holidays can be very hard for her. Seeing everyone else celebrating with loved ones leaves her feeling very sad. Although she’d like to meet a nice man, she either avoids holiday parties altogether or drinks too much alcohol when she does go. She ultimately finds herself at home in a worse mood than before.
Elle doesn’t have to do the holidays like everyone else, but she thinks she does. Rather than trying to figure out what would make her happy over the holidays, she tries to avoid her feelings by skipping parties or drinking too much. Elle might have a better holiday season if she tried to figure out what does make her happy during the holidays instead of dreading them and hiding from her feelings.
You can have your own kind of holiday ritual instead of doing what you think is supposed to make you happy. Maybe having some quiet evenings with a couple of close friends or taking a trip with someone would change the mood. If you did decide to drop by a party to see if there were any nice men around, for example, you could limit the time you spent there (as well as your alcohol intake), giving yourself a shot at some fun with a pre-planned, guilt-free exit strategy already in place.
Taking better care of yourself during the holidays is important, no matter how you feel about this time of year. It just requires a bit of self-reflection.
The Holidays Can Be Different for You
Consider the ways that you neglect to take care of yourself over the holidays. Is it a lack of sleep or too much caffeine? Is it too much alcohol or drugs? Overeating? Hanging out with people who don’t treat you well?
This year can be different: you can be your own Brand of Sexy.
That means figuring out what you want, what works for you, and what strategies will help you achieve your goals.
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