The holiday season is a time of joy, friends, family, and simple pleasures. And, it can also be a time of overwhelm, stress, triggers, and never-ending to-do lists for many. It’s a time to step up prioritizing protection of our energy and peace.
The great news is that we have so much power over how we create and experience the season if we set our intentions and boundaries in advance and stick to them (that’s the hard part, but worth it!). To get us all started, here are four of my favorite shifts to create more joy, feel great, and protect personal energy and peace during the holidays and beyond.
1. Prioritize your rest and self-care with next-level intention and purpose.
We should always be doing this if we’re on a path of creating our best life, but the holidays can throw our regular habits and routines way off track. Create a clear plan for yourself this season on what you want it to look like and how you want to feel, and then plan your days around those things.
Say no to obligations and events that are not an absolute yes in your soul (resist temptation to say yes to every invite and over-schedule yourself). Don’t apologize for taking time to rest, relax, and recharge. If your soul is tired, you can’t shine or be the best version of you. You and the people you love deserve the version of you. Prioritizing your needs is the best way to show up as that person who is full of great energy, love, and joy.
2. Choose a “small talk only” approach with difficult people + Examine your triggers.
One strategy for responding in ways that bring more peace and calm is to set an intention ahead of time to stick to small talk at work events, parties, or family gatherings where you know you may be triggered, or where you know negative or toxic people may be. This keeps things light and helps reduce the chance of conflict. Additionally, seek out more time at these gatherings with people you truly enjoy. This is not only a way to avoid conflict, but have more fun too!
Recently, I posted a quote on Instagram that really resonated…“The way you choose to respond to difficult people and situations plays an important role in determining the quality of your life.” Woah. Such power in that thought!
It’s amazing news, actually, because when we take personal responsibility for the way we respond to people and situations, we remain in complete control and can be the conductor of calm and peace in most any situation. Use the mantra, “I choose peace,” if tempted to react harshly when you feel triggered.
And, try taking a quiet look at exactly what made you feel triggered, because sometimes it’s an opportunity to realize that those feelings are actually your stuff, and not the other person at all. We all have our “stuff.” This can be both eye-opening and very positive, because taking responsibility for your triggers is a healing superpower that can be especially helpful during the holiday season. It truly can help bring you more peace, along with more compassion for yourself and room to grow.
3. Try choosing low alcohol cocktails or fancy mocktails.
For people who do consume alcohol, the holidays can be a time of too much (and maybe a little regret?). But, the truth is that in excess, it’s a downer that can drain you of energy, cause brain fog, affect your sleep and has a long list of not-so-great negative health affects.
When you’re out at gatherings and parties, there are some simple and even fun ways to cut way back, or cut it out all together. The rising popularity of low alcohol cocktails and fancy mocktails (zero-alcohol cocktails) is a great trend I hope is here to stay.
You can find all kinds of recipes online, or just order yourself a simple one at the bar (the simplest being a bubbly water in a pretty glass with a squeeze of lime). I like to cut both wine and champaign by making spritzers with half wine and half sparkling water – it tastes good and not only cuts the alcohol, cuts calories too. I also love a low-alcohol Aperol Spritz, which is lovely to look at, hydrating, and festive (my recipe is 2 ounces sparkling wine or Prosecco, 1/2 ounce Aperol, and 4 ounces sparkling mineral water, garnished with an orange slice).
4. Focus your energies and intentions on planning for the New Year ahead.
One of my favorite feelings is the excitement and possibility that comes with fresh starts, the New Year being one of the biggest. I love journaling, writing down goals and dreams, and creating action plans for creating the year. I keep a paper calendar and planner, and I love filling in all the things to look forward to.
Another way to get an extra boost and really dive into leveling up your life is to find a program or community designed to support you in achieving your goals and becoming the happiest and very best version of you. This is a big reason why I created my new coaching membership and community, The Joy School. It’s been called “a gym membership for the soul” and I love that concept! It really is a very special, unique, and supportive community. I invite you to check out all the details here.
Warren Buffet said, “Invest in yourself as much as you can. You are your own biggest asset by far.”
It’s so true that the best investment we can make is in ourselves. When I really got this and started investing more in myself (and less in stuff I really didn’t need), it was life-changing for me. The Joy School is the dream program I wish I’d had years ago. One designed to give you the coaching support, tools, frameworks, and sense of community with growth-minded people that it really takes to purposefully design a life to love. It’s my honor to lead it, and so far the members and I have been having a blast! Join us here