By Kelly Beischel Phd, RN, CAPP, CPPC
It’s that time of year when many of us experience a roller coaster of emotions.
So much that it can feel like a tug of war competition between love and hate.
You love the holidays and all the festivities. But you also have 101 tasks on your to-do-list. And let us not forget the parties to attend, cards to mail, gifts to buy, cookies to bake, and if you are like my family, crafts to make.
It’s enough to make a person want to hibernate in the fetal position. Especially when your energy is zapped and you still have a week to go.
If your energy is waning, try these strategies to boost the energy you need to finish strong.
Five Strategies to Re-KICKSTART Your Holiday MOJO:
The expectations we place on ourselves or allow others to place upon you are over the top.
The funny thing is, we would never put these expectations on others. Why do we do it to ourselves?
Being a perfect baker, gift wrapper, party-goer, house cleaner, gift giver, you name it, is way overrated.
- Release the need to be perfect at anything. And that will boost your energy, for sure.
- Release the idea that you must attend every party you’re invited to.
- Release the thought that you must make 10 different types of cookies. Make your two favorites and call it a day.
- Release the notion that holiday cards must go out in December.
A few years ago, I started sending my holiday cards out on Valentine’s Day. People love it.
It’s unexpected. And this makes it more fun.
What expectation do you put on yourself with the unsubstantiated notion that the sun will fall out of the sky if you don’t do it? It won’t.
You get the picture. Release it.
2. Give Up
Create a list of the activities you do during this season or have left to do.
Examine each activity by reading it aloud and notice your level of energy when thinking about the activity.
If it raises your energy, keep it on the list.
If thinking about the activity has your energy slinking downward, ask yourself if the activity is absolutely necessary.
Is it truly necessary?
If it’s a nicety and the return on investment of energy is low, scratch it off the list.
And when the answer is, “I hate doing it but yes it needs to be done,” all is not lost.
You have choices.
- delegate the activity to a family member (because whoever wrote in stone that a woman must be the end all holiday doer?),
- hire someone else to do it,
- or find a way to make it more fun.
3. Slow Down to Speed Up
When our minds are squawking at us like seagulls on the beach and we find ourselves in the frenzy of making the perfect holiday for everyone (first, see number 1) and then just sit and BE.
I know you’re huffing.
And hey there, don’t think that I can’t hear your sardonic laugh!!
But truly, try this.
Just “BEING” can look like this:
Meditating. I’ve begun a meditation practice. And now, I feel scrambled without it.
Sit in your favorite chair and drink your favorite beverage while watching the sunrise or set.
Or watch the clouds pass by.
Watch your favorite holiday show. But this activity only works to Kickstart your MOJO if you stay present to the show.
That means to refrain from multitasking while watching your favorite show.
Do I know you or what?
(Not that you can’t address your holiday cards or wrap presents while watching a show at another time. But refrain from this when watching your favorite show, you know that one you anticipate with glee each year.)
4. Boost Your Self-Care
Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not an indulgence. Nor is it selfish.
Self-care improves your physical and mental well-being. So, caring for yourself is good for your whole family.
It’s a necessity if you plan to tackle everything on your holiday task list.
If your family or others balk that you are taking time for yourself, tell them, “I’m following the Doctor’s orders.”
What is your favorite self-care activity?
- A massage?
- Coffee with friends?
- Lifting weights at the gym?
- A manicure or pedicure?
- A short nap?
- Sleeping in late on the weekend?
- Taking a long leisurely walk – farther than to your car and back?
- Taking a hot bath with loads of bubbles and a great book.
Now, go to your calendar and schedule it.
Write it with a sharpie so that you can’t erase it.
And be sure your family knows you are out of commission during this time.
5. Ask Them
One of the most challenging tasks of the holidays is shopping for people who are special to you but the ideas you are coming up with are as useful as a dried up ink cartridge.
I find this especially troubling when the gifts are for my own children!
And don’t get me started about the angst in stocking the refrigerator and pantry with their favorite foods and beverages when you’re out-of-town children are coming to stay.
Perhaps I’m the only lame one who doesn’t know my adult children’s favorite things?
But perhaps not.
If I asked you what your adult child’s favorite beverage was, could you name it with certainty? What about, his favorite quote? Or her favorite show?
Belaboring what they might enjoy, their size, what to cook when they come home, or what beverages to stock in the fridge is like playing whack a mole with your energy.
You have questions.
They have answers.
Create a survey for your family to answer and leave the guessing to someone else.
I created a survey about 5 years ago. It has made all the difference in my energy level.
And I am not the only one who consults the answers. Our children do as well.
For four years, I used Survey Monkey and now I use Google Sheets.
You can see my questionnaire or use it as a template to get you started. Simply click here and it’s yours to use.
Uplifting our MOJO is key to silencing the hate side of the love-hate tug of war we can experience during this season.
Which of these Re-KICKSTART Your MOJO strategies will you engage in to uplift your energy?
Go do that!