Thriving Through the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again. Yep. We all know it. The “how can I survive until January” season. I’ve had more than one friend comment along the lines of “things are already getting busy even though the holidays haven’t really started yet.”

For many of us, the responsibilities of October through December seem to increase exponentially compared to the rest of the year. From the holiday gatherings, our children’s special school events, office parties, family shin-digs (and drama), it can take all of 5.2 seconds before we feel like we’ll self-destruct.

Are we at the mercy of the madness? Can we do anything about the insanity or is it simply an unchangeable fact?

While we may not be able to skip the season entirely, there is still a great deal that can happen on the front end to transform our holiday experience into one of thriving.

Shift Our Mindset

We can have the perfect methods for success but if our mindset stinks, our strategies will fail.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” In this verse, Paul does not say “Whatever is horrible, whatever is falling apart, whatever is ugly, whatever is hateful, whatever is wrong in the world – if anything is inferior or wretched – think about such things.” It’s not that those things don’t exist. It’s that our entire focus should not be on them.

We find what we focus on.

When we go into the holidays with expectations that they will be crazy, full of drama, out of control, expensive and so on, our brains are literally looking for proof that our hypotheses are correct. 

  • That “crazy uncle” getting rowdy again?
    • [Brain: Of COURSE he is. My family is crazy.]
  • Dreading the food table because you *know* you have no self-control?
    • [Brain: You don’t have self-control. Remember last year? Just eat what you want… you can always lose weight in the new year.]
  • Your schedule suddenly so packed you cringe when you look at the calendar?
    • [Brain: Why wouldn’t it be? That’s just what happens this time of year.]

We choose our focus.

Is there a change in attitude you can make that may help get you going in the right direction? Consider these reinterpretations.

  • That “crazy uncle” getting rowdy again?
    • [Brain with a changed focus: What could I learn from my uncle? Has he always been this way? Maybe this is his way of having fun and his personality is just different from mine. That doesn’t make one of us right and the other wrong – just different. How could I make this a playful experience?]
  • Dreading the food table because you *know* you have no self-control?
    • [Brain with a changed focus: What healthy things can I both eat and enjoy? Should I bring something special to the party that I can still enjoy? I have the best self-control when I have a friend keep me accountable so who could I ask?]
  • Your schedule suddenly so packed you cringe when you look at the calendar?
    • [Brain with a changed focus: I am in charge of my calendar. True, some things may not be optional but many are. Is my goal to have fun during the holidays? Rest and relax? What can I say no or yes to, to make those goals happen?]

Do you see where we’re going here? Repeat with me: We find what we focus on.

If we’re looking for drama, we’ll find it.

If we’re looking for ungrateful hearts, we’ll find them.

If we’re looking for confirmation that our sibling was always the “favored child,” we’ll find it.

Practical Tips

I know some of you are wondering where all the practical tips are in this post. After all, there have to be SOME practical strategies for THRIVING – not simply surviving – the holidays. And you’d be right. There are plenty. Want to learn those as well as digging a little deeper into some of that mindset power? Join me for a FREE FB Live “Thriving through the Holidays” training on Wednesday, November 7th at 8:30p EST in my Wellness with Terra Community group*. Those present will have the opportunity to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card in addition to learning some incredibly useful tools for transforming your holidays.  How about we do more than simply survive this year? Let’s thrive together!

*Not a member of the free group? Join today!

Until next time…

Take care,

Terra