Seven Secrets for Successful Holidays
Navigating the holidays can be tough. The holidays can also be wondrous and joyful. As we put 2019 in the books and look ahead to a new decade, a few last minute tricks might be useful as the heart of the holidays hits home. Below are some holiday tips to help make the most wonderful time of the year, well, wonderful.
1. Prioritize What You Enjoy
For many, too much of the holiday season is spent fulfilling obligations and not enough time is spent doing things we actually enjoy. Pass on the construction of the second cousin’s Aunt’s sister’s front yard manger scene in favor of some good laughs viewing A Christmas Vacation at home.
2. Manage Your Own Addictive Behaviors, Not Others
Everyone knows Uncle Bob is gonna’ over-serve himself on Grandma’s spiked egg nog, get a bit too saucy, and spout off about the over-commercialization of Christmas again before he insults half the family for being “elitists.” Rather than conspiring on how to control the less than desirable behaviors of others, energy is much better spent focusing on how we can moderate our own intake of candy canes, prime rib, excessive spending, or any of the other addictive behaviors that run rampant in the final month of the year.
3. Reduce Your Routines, Don’t Eliminate Them
It is probably unlikely to keep up with five gym visits a week over the holidays. It is also probably unlikely to eat a balanced diet of moderate proportions everyday during the holidays. Allowing for some plump portions and skipping a few dates with the treadmill are part of the holiday fun. But rather than ditching the gym and healthy meals entirely for a month or two, continuing to exercise once or twice a week and tossing some healthy meals into the mix will help keep things on track come 2020.
4. Drive, Don’t Fly
Sane people rarely enjoy airport security lines and flight delays. If your holiday destination is anywhere close to driving distance, and the roads to get there aren’t closed, a road trip offers many advantages to air travel – no TSA, decent food options, more spacious seating, and oh, did I mention no TSA?
5. Remind Yourself of What’s Important
It is easy to lose sight of what’s important to us during the holiday season amidst the onslaught of advertisements attempting to convince us that our love for family is best measured by the costs of the gifts we purchase for them. Maybe holidays are about spending time with loved ones, maybe they’re about relaxing, maybe they’re about helping others, maybe all of the above or something else entirely. Clearly identifying what the holidays mean to us helps us stick closer to what matters.
6. Don’t Work
Sounds obvious, but taking time off is a highly effective technique to increase holiday enjoyment. Taking time off doesn’t mean just not going into the office. Don’t check email once on Christmas day, or when Chanukah begins on the 23rd. Heck, maybe don’t check email at all for a whole week!
Indulging does not mean over-indulging. The holidays are, in some ways, kind of like a cheat day on a diet but they’re a cheat week for a year of hard work. If we are not rewarded for our hard work we tend to lose motivation. These holiday tips are an opportunity to treat and reward ourselves and the ones we love for the effort and sacrifices made throughout the year so we enter into the new year feeling restored and rejuvenated.