Here it is. We are in the very bowels of the Christmas season. Like it or not, the next two weeks will have their expectations of your.
The season is unique in the sense that most of us will be doing things we don’t normally do throughout the year.
We will get less sleep, so of us who were traveling or entertaining house guests, we will be eating more than we normally do and some of us will be indulging in more ‘holiday cheer’ then at other times throughout the year.
It is indeed, a holiday that has some lofty expectations placed upon all of us. Please, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not humbug or by any means as I truly love this season.
But year after year, I see many of my patients come back after the holidays bloated, exhausted, lethargic and in need of another holiday. I have done it too.
Here’s a brief survival guide to get you through this holiday season, one that’ll bring you and your family back in one piece and with few regrets.
First and foremost, we are what we eat. Garbage in garbage out.
For the office Christmas party and throughout the season, exercise moderation and pace yourself.
It’s a long road with Christmas and New Year’s eve so close together.
If you drink, don’t drive. Period. That kind of thing that ruins lives.
If your hosting or attending a Christmas party, take my advice, choose the small plate when up to the trough of Christmas delights.
I recommend people have something healthy to eat before the door to a Christmas party so they don’t overindulge in butter tarts, Christmas cookies and a horrid thing we call Christmas cake.
We have all been in a situation where we’ve been invited to an event that we really don’t want to attend for various reasons.
Here’s what you say: “I am sorry, I would love to go, but I had a previous commitment I made to keep.”
This decline out their invitation makes you sound very Ghandi-esque as you are declining because you are keeping your word.
If you like your family and friends, spend as much time with them as possible and make them your priority. I say this very tongue-in-cheek because spending time with people is important but choose wisely how you decide to spend your time.
Let’s face it, there is always one person in your family or circle of friends that spending time with them is very much like passing a stone.
Obligation is important but remember, as Polonius said in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
There, with all the nasty bits of the holiday, here’s what we focus on.
Surprise someone with a random act of kindness and do it anonymously.
Don’t tell anyone, just know that you did it and you did it out of kindness.
In the days ahead that you’re not at work or doing your daily tasks, make sure you set time aside for yourself to reflect on the season and was truly important to you.
Most importantly, act on that.
Stephen Covey wrote a book called The Seven Habits. From his book, I made the realization that those things which I held most important were the things I was spending the least amount of time on.
Take nothing for granted, we are here only briefly and it can end in an instant.
By no means is this a ‘doom and gloom’ perspective.
Rather, it is pointing out the importance of absolute and unconditional gratitude for all the things in your life, for those who love, those you hold dear to your heart and the importance of the season: love.
Now go into the season with joy, not duty.