If thinking about the holidays makes you immediately want to click away from this blog, then you probably need to read the whole thing.
It’s that time of year folks, the time of year where our clients here at Body Brain Alliance start stressing about the holiday season.
But I am here to remind you that you are not doomed if you find it hard to be on your best behavior and feel actually good about your choices throughout the holidays.
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If you’re new, I’m Karin, technically Dr. Karin. I have a PhD focused on behavior change where I actually specialized in mindset.
Mindset is exactly what we’re going to be talking about today.
In fact, I’m going to give you 3 powerful thoughts you can use to transform your relationship with the holidays during this season.
Let’s jump right in with thought number one.
Thought #1: The Holidays Are An Amazing Way To Challenge Our Brain
Now, most people look at the holidays and they see a pass or fail test. They see a black and white situation where you either continue with every single behavior you want to do, you nail all your habits and you execute it perfectly.
OR on the other hand, you abandon everything that feels good for you. Give up because it’s the holidays after all, and end the season not feeling great about yourself in the slightest.
Instead of taking that mentality, I want you to imagine for a second that you are a seventh grader and you’re taking seventh grade geometry.
In fact, you take a seventh grade geometry test and you do pretty well at that test. In this metaphor, the holidays are like ninth grade trigonometry class, and you as a seventh grader are magically transported and dropped into that class.
You are in a much different environment and are dealing with a much more difficult set of skills.
Why are you expecting yourself to have the exact same performance?
Now, don’t get me wrong, you can absolutely still learn from being in a room that is too advanced for you.
You as a seventh grader would likely pick up some interesting things about ninth grade trigonometry.
In fact, these moments where we put ourselves in a situation that is more challenging, out of our comfort zone and pushes our growth, those are the moments we change the most.
Your mindset flip is this, view the holidays as a challenge.
View it as a class that is maybe a little bit too hard for you and accept that there will be moments that you’re going to fail, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all of your healthy habits or not focus on doing anything that feels helpful for you.
In fact, when you stay dedicated to yourself throughout the holiday season, even in the face of failures, that builds your relationship with yourself and it’s going to make the rest of the year feel so much easier.
And that brings us to thought number two.
Thought #2: The Holidays Are An Opportunity For You To Build A Relationship With Yourself
Let’s do another hypothetical example and say you are headed off to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.
There’s two situations I want you to compare.
In situation ONE, you don’t plan ahead and you:
- Save packing for the night before.
- Frantically get to the airport.
- Deal with work during the whole plane ride across the country.
- Return from Thanksgiving feeling overwhelmed.
- Your inbox is absolutely stacked, and you are so mad at yourself for putting yourself in this position.
In situation TWO, you view the holiday season as a chance to develop a relationship with yourself.
- You start thinking now about what the future self version of you is going to want.
- You view that person as someone that you love, someone you want to take care of.
- You pack a little bit earlier.
- You make sure to zero out that inbox and set an autoresponder before you leave.
In fact, maybe you even take a little bit of extra time to do that next week’s work so that when you get back you are not totally overwhelmed.
Can you see how approaching the holidays like this would totally transform your relationship with yourself?
In fact, I want you to try it right now with me.
I’m going to ask you 3 specific questions and I want you to jot your answer down in the comments below.
Question 1: What do you need to feel good before your trip?
When you are leaving, what will you want done? Maybe it’s that you want to leave a clean house. Maybe it’s that you want that big work project checked off your list before you go. Think about the before.
Question 2: What does the future version of you want?
When you’re at grandma’s house, or when you’re on that vacation, what does that version of you want? Maybe grandma’s house is really cold and you always wish you’d pack those big fuzzy slippers. Pack those this time.
Question 3: What will you need when you return in order to ease back into those habits that might’ve gotten a little wobbly while you were gone?
For example, you might want to order groceries for pickup or delivery for that day that you get home so that you know you’re going to have food in the fridge and it’s going to be an easier transition back into regular life.
Thought #3: The Holidays Are The Best Time To Debut The New Version Of You
We’ve worked with lots of clients who enter the holiday season worrying about what other people are going to think. You might worry about what other people are going to say about your body, what they might think about your habits and the judgments/opinions that are going to circulate…
Especially if you’ve made changes.
But what if instead of being afraid to surprise people, instead of being afraid to act differently, you view the holiday season as a new you reveal party.
Here’s the thing, being brave enough to act as your authentic self in front of other people is not easy, but it is incredibly powerful.
It’s a way to reinforce who you want to be. The holidays therefore are filled with amazing opportunities for you to make the changes you want to make and to make those changes into a deep (and yes, permanent) part of your new identity.
Now, if you’re feeling some type of way about the holiday season and you want a supportive person on your team to help you navigate, look no further than our one-on-one coaching program.
And in fact, we need stress as humans in order to grow.
While there will be things you can’t control, you can control your mindset.
Going into the next few months and working on that will make all the difference.
Before you go, make sure to check out this blog, which is all about your mindset on stress.
Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!
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