Hey diy Ass-kickers!

Back with another big holiday challenge, this one is sooo easy to slip into if we let the season kick our asses rather than the other way around.

If you are anything like me, you’ve had holidays where that cookie jar full of gingerbread yummies or that bottle of wine with the Santa stopper in it are your go-to when the holidays start to feel not so much fun.

I get it. Holiday stress levels soar as we strive to be the perfect home decorator, hostess, and gift giver (insert holiday etc…), and that’s simply uncomfortable. Women still do the majority of the domestic work in and around our homes, and that doesn’t change over the holidays. Our bodies and mind are constantly being stimulated by the demands that others place on us and don’t forget the demands that we place on ourselves. Since all we really want to feel is peace and comfort, we can easily start looking for a little help from our “close friends” to take the edge off. Isn’t it Jack Daniels that Clark W Griswold’s dad uses to get through the holidays?

But here’s the problem with just taking the edge off. When the sugar has melted in your mouth and the wine bottle is empty, that discomfort comes right back and also hits you with all the side effects that excess sugar and alcohol leave behind. And one more whammy…don’t forget the guilt you feel afterward for overindulging.

Sound familiar? I remember it well. But you don’t have to let your holiday (or any other stressful time) play out this way and here’s how.

Take it internal, lovely. The holidays are all about external expectations and pressures and if we’re not ready for them, we’re constantly battling them.

It’s time to manage your own internal holiday comfort instead of expecting the cookie jar to give it to you. #CraveMoreLife Tweet this!

Remember how you wanted to feel this season? Create one word to describe it. Then plaster it all over your world to remind you that you have options. Put those reminders on your bathroom mirror, on your fridge, on your computer at work, in your purse, in your car, any place you will notice it. Keeping your thoughts focused on the feelings you want to have will help you actually have them.

Recognize that it’s your in-the-moment thoughts about the season that create the feelings you are having. And if they’re shitty, you will no doubt want to stuff them down with those cookies or booze, or whatever your source of short term comfort is. Battling with our feelings can be a 365 day of the year thing and calls for self compassion. Acknowledge your feelings and let yourself sit in them for a time. Your feelings are not wrong, nor are you for having them. Try writing them down to get clear about what they are and where they come from. Become aware of what’s making you reach for your external comfort.

Time to find your internal comfort. Take a time out for yourself to breathe deeply, do some yoga or go for a run or a walk. Sit with a fav holiday book with a cup of hot chocolate or your best tea.  (P.S. This is a fun little book I am currently getting a giggle from, and I’ve posted my own recipe for healthy hot chocolate below!) 

Spend time in the dark with your Christmas tree lit and let yourself enjoy it. Book in time every day to do something that brings your constant stimulation (aka stress) down and also makes you feel recharged. Don’t settle for stress release without recharge, understand the difference for your body and mind, and know that they are an unbeatable team. I’m betting you know exactly what things calm and recharge you. Think peace, calm, relaxed, smiling and feeling connected to yourself. It’s your time for some holiday sanity that will help you stay strong for the rest of the season.

And don’t forget the pleasure. We all need to gift ourselves with activities or things that bring us simple pleasure. Add that to your daily calendar too! Your pleasures needn’t necessarily be consumed but if that is what you are seeking from a pleasure perspective, go for it. Get to know the different feelings that are evoked by actively offering yourself pleasure over desperately seeking indulgences as comfort. Be conscious about your choices. If treats bring you pleasure, eat them. If wine is pleasurable, drink it. If you really want that new dress for the holidays, buy it. Pleasure creates internal comfort. Depriving yourself just keeps you on the wheel of discomfort.

Are you ready to be that #holidaywarriorqueen that I know you are in your deep core?

I’m right there beside you. Wearing holiday red spike heels…

Keep ho-ho-ho’ing on!!