There I am again.  Standing in the middle of the mall with frantic people trampling all over my feet asking myself if the chaotic hustle is due to stores giving away products for free.  All I went into the store for was to buy a few gifts for family members to put a smile on their face for the holidays.  As I’m standing in line listening to the same boring Christmas music I’m thinking to myself how I don’t even want anything materialistic for the holiday.  I’d be MUCH more excited about traveling to a foreign land and engulfing myself in the smells, sounds, rhythms and the allure of a new culture.  So, spending my precious time standing in line is actually a bonus gift for my family members (smile, wink).  I’m one of those crazy healthy lifestyle coaches who prefers to just enjoy a stress-free Christmas and make memories by experiencing something new together as a family rather than exchange material gifts.  However, I do know that material gifts light some people up.  So, since every now and then I wait until the last minute to purchase gifts I guess I will continue to get trampled on to appease their holiday spirit.  

So, what exactly do YOU do during the traditional Westernized holiday season?  Do you love it or LOATHE it?  Does it light you up or does it bring you down?  Does it ADD more stress to your life or does it leave you feeling relaxed?  Does it allow you time to self-reflect or does it overwhelm you?   Does it force you to wait until the next year to do everything you said you were going to do but couldn’t find the time to do?  Think about those questions honestly because your answers will give you clues about yourself.

I’m not going to tell you how to spend your holiday season because it’s personal to you and YOU should always do what lights you up.  However, I will say that if you are a part of the over 60% of the U.S population who have been surveyed in some random studies who stated that the holiday season drains their batteries, leaves them depressed, anxious, and stressed then you may want to consider altering your patterns to better suit the lifestyle you want for yourself.  

I decided a few years ago that I would spend the holidays doing things differently, which included purchasing fewer material items and spending time on reflection, self-improvement, and enjoying unique and exciting experiences together as a family.  And guess what?  Each year since then I have had very little stress during the holidays.  If you do this all year long you’ll also notice that you experience less stress over all.  As I’ve said before, it’s not until I traveled to countries where people actually have fewer material items and STILL experienced joy that I changed my mindset around this.  I wasn’t always this way.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t change my mindset regarding the holiday season until I was about 35 years old.  So I totally understand why and how some people would prefer to celebrate the conventional gift-giving way.  Remember, I still buy gifts too.  I just bring in other fun experiences and choose very selectively who I’m going to spend my time with during the season in order to limit stress.  

My process can be explained in detail in my 30-Day Stress Reboot program.  It’s not easy to change one’s mindset around certain societal expectations when you’ve been taught to act a certain way since BIRTH!  Even people who don’t think they are influenced by social mores are influenced by them and create reasons in their mind to continue their habits.  So, don’t expect to reduce that holiday season anxiety and stress that previously rushed you to the hospital or doctor’s office for more meds overnight.  It’s a process.  In all honesty, I do not struggle with depression or anxiety (mostly due to how I set up my lifestyle and personal interactions).  But MANY of the ladies I’ve worked with closely do.  I’ve seen how they make lifestyle adjustments and their depression and anxiety dissipates.  I believe that if you want to experience a similar transformation you will take the necessary steps to simplify your life.

Let’s walk together in my Nutrition 4 Busy Women Facebook group and reduce our stress triggers one day at a time!

Thanks for reading!  Be a selfless friend and share this article with a friend who is sometimes overwhelmed during the holiday season and also needs a resource from a health coach who cares and has experience with getting rid of customs that don’t quite fit with how she wants to live her life.

To Our Health & Happiness,