BY JANE DANIEL
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” As women, we tend to be the ones who make the holidays special for our friends and families. But, the holidays tend to add more things on our already jam packed to-do list. So how do we enjoy the holidays while making it fun for everyone else?
Follow these 4 tips to give you more time, feel lighter, and liberated in the process of it all!
Tip 1: Clear out the physical clutter in your surroundings
Do you walk into your home, office, or car and feel a sense of peace? If not, cortisol, our stress hormone, rises. This can lead to heightened anxiety and/or depression where we want to numb out. We look for the quick fix, grabbing a sweet or salty treat, pouring a glass of wine, or buying something on sale to help soothe us.
A study had two groups with the task of signing papers: One group was in a clean, tidy office and the other was in a cluttered office. After the individuals in each group signed the papers, they were offered an apple or candy bar. Those who left the cluttered space had a higher propensity to take the candy bar.
Set a timer for 8 minutes and organize whatever hot spot zone you wish! You may find you get started and don’t want to stop!
Tip 2: Reduce calendar clutter and create some white space each day for things you enjoy
Take advantage of technology; use programs like Unroll.me or Sanebox to help filter out ALL those daily emails you receive from companies trying to sell you something. You can allot a certain amount of time each day or week to review those emails at once and focus on the more pertinent email tasks at hand.
Schedule time each day to scroll social media if that is your thing. Social media can be a time suck and can leave you feeling bad in the process. There is even an app for that! Iphone has a feature where you can limit your screen time for certains apps.
When responding to an event, ask yourself, “Five minutes before I go to this event, will I be excited?” If the answer is no, kindly regret and don’t feel bad about it.
Buy local!…Owners and employees of these stores are knowledgeable on the products they carry. They can be a great resource for buying that perfect present instead of scrolling online not knowing what it will actually look like in person. Most offer gift wrapping services so you can knock that off your to-do list. Consider “batch” buying; purchase several of the same gift that has brought you joy this year; a gift card to your favorite restaurant or spa, candle, kitchen utensil, or book to name a few.
Find moments that bring you daily joy: walking with a friend, listening to your favorite holiday music as you look at the ornaments and their significance on the tree, or sitting quietly with a cup of hot tea are ways to sprinkle happiness throughout your day.
Tip 3: Flip FOMO into JOMO
This is how we can make positive changes sustainable. During the holidays, “Fear of Missing Out” is exceptionally high. ‘That shirt is such a good deal, why not get one in every color?’ ‘There are doughnuts in the breakroom, it’s the holidays…why not?’
Turn Fear of Missing Out to Joy of Missing Out! Think about 1 or 2 things that you know aren’t serving you. For example, when the bread basket comes before your entree’, you can’t resist and then aren’t hungry for your meal. You know gluten makes you bloated and uncomfortable. Ask the server to not bring the bread or order a soup or salad while others are eating the bread. The key is to celebrate your JOMO! “I don’t feel bloated and uncomfortable after my meal! My dinner was good without it!.” Celebration gives you a mini dopamine hit which leads me to my last tip!
Tip 4: Celebrate yourself!
Dopamine is the feel good neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and reinforcement. When you do any of the above tips, notice and name your accomplishment to keep the positive reinforcements going.
“I organized my junk drawer!” Do a fist pump!
“Instead of looking at Instagram, I went for a walk.” Say, “I am nourishing myself.”
“I didn’t have the bread before my entree.’” Draw a smiley face on your napkin.
It sounds silly but dopamine loves these mini rewards we give ourselves.
Wishing you a light and liberating holiday season!
IG @ncjane77 FB @janedanielinhc