What You’ll Learn Today:

  1. My Top 7 Tips for having a stress free holiday season 
  2. Isn’t that enough?!

Top Take-A-Ways:

I’m coming at you today with my top seven sure-fire tips to get you through the holidays with an attitude of gratitude and feelings of peace and calm (and maybe even a little of that joy they talk so much about), even if you have to spend time with your crazy family! 

Tip #1: Don’t SAC this holiday season

During the holidays especially, be mindful not to “SAC” any of your relationships. This means, don’t give Suggestions, no offering Advice and no Criticizing anyone. When you do any of these things you invite friction and arguments. Also, it puts your mind in the wrong place with the focus on what’s not working instead of what is working. Instead of any comment that falls into the SAC category, think only of either offering words of encouragement or asking questions. When you ask questions, it invites an open dialogue and allows others to have their own “aha”moments.

Tip #2: Set Intention Often

If you do this one activity consistently, you will definitely change the nature of all your relationships for the better. The more you do it, the better your life will become. Setting intention means that you stop, take a breath, and set a goal or intention for how you want to be in your next interactions. You can set an intention to be kind, patient, responsible, mindful, thoughtful, fun, loving or whatever floats your boat.

Tip #3: Flip the Script

If you identify something or someone with a negative trait (your mother criticizing your haircut at Thanksgiving dinner), switch it in your mind to a positive trait (your mother who cares about you so much that she even thinks of your hair).

In fancy, psychological terms, we call this “reframing.” Essentially, you’re taking something that’s said and you’re putting it in a new frame or new way of thinking. You see, the real problem we have is being so sure we’re “right” about something (My mother-in-law hates me,” “Everyone is talking about how terrible I look in this dress,” “I know people are judging how I’m parenting Jack.”) We then ascribe all kinds of meaning to what they say, don’t say or what we assume they think and we play these negative thoughts on a loop over and over! 

Tip #4: Watch Your Perceptions 

Neuroscientist Beau Lotto says: Perception underpins everything we think, do, believe, know, or love.” That’s a pretty big statement, but it’s true. What we perceive in a situation has everything to do with what we believe. 

Your perceptions, how you perceive your world is at the base of how happy you are. Your perceptions are your first mental impression. They’re your way of thinking about, understanding, or interpreting whatever crosses your path. 

Tip #5: Be Kind to Yourself

The first way I want you to be kind to yourself is in the way you speak to yourself. If you spoke to anyone else the way you speak to yourself, you’d likely get punched in the mouth…. A lot! Stop with the mean, judgmental and rude internal dialogue! To do this, you’re going to need to be more self-aware of when your thoughts are doing their own thing. 

The next way I want you to be kind to yourself is to get some real sleep! Try to keep to a normal sleep routine, especially during the holidays. Finally, try to exercise and eat well during the holidays. Be thoughtful! Getting completely out of routine makes us grumpy!

Tip #6: Stop Kvetching!

Stop kvetching means, stop complaining: Make a promise to yourself this holiday season not to complain, criticize, or gossip for some designated period of time; it can be one day, seven days or the three hours you’ll be at your in-laws’ house. If you slip-up, get yourself back on the non-kvetch-track. When you stop complaining, it opens your mind up to start seeing the good around you instead of the bad. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel as you get in charge of your thoughts and actions!

Tip #7: Schedule Thoughtfully

Schedule everything and see what fits and what doesn’t. I want you to get rid of those To-Do Lists for the holidays! Right now, take that To Do List and schedule it into your calendar. I mean everything. Shopping for the holiday party. How long will that take? When are you going to do it? Can you really get everything at one store, or do you need to make multiple stops? Schedule it all in. This is important because you’ll quickly see that you cannot get done everything you want to get done! You’ll see that you have too much on your plate! Being overwhelmed at the holidays is a choice. Start seeing it as one. 

Resources and Links:

Blue/White Dress Optical Illusion Science

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