By Caryn O’Hara
Generally speaking, we can agree the holiday season is vibrant, indulgent, and (possibly my least favorite word) – busy. So how do we tend to the celebrations, decorations and fraternizations without totally losing our minds? This time of year it’s especially important to watch patterns that have crept up in our lives that don’t do us any favors.
Let’s notice when habits of perfectionism and over-commitment pry themselves into our days. Over time, the combination of these two are a recipe for disaster. It seems that FOMO (fear of missing out) was not only a trendy acronym there for a while, it also encouraged a life of too much.
Who wants to operate from a place of fear anyway? I read once about JOMO (joy of missing out). Now, that’s a feeling I personally strive for more of.
It’s true many of us go through a period of life when we want to do all the things, be everything to everyone. Since we are all fueled by helping others in one way or another, we may not realize we are putting everyone before ourselves until it takes a toll on our well being.
We wind up sacrificing our relationships to work late. We wind up forgoing our workouts to be there for someone else in need. We wind up putting our health on the back burner for one of a zillion reasons in our head that justifies our behavior.
The mind has a misleading way of telling us we are simply doing what everyone else does. It has a way of telling us if we don’t accept every invitation, then we aren’t measuring up. Then we believe if we do not answer every call, we aren’t a good friend, spouse, mother or well-intentioned employee/employer. If we don’t rise to the occasion, we are less than valuable.
By living this way we are inadvertently setting ourselves up for failure. Putting everyone before our own needs is not sustainable. It can feel like a slow drain of energy, inspiration, creativity, or a general decline in authentic connection.
And there is good news! We don’t have to listen to what our minds say, and we don’t have to wait until Jan. 1 to bring light to this situation. We can catalyze internal shift today.
We can decide before the end of the year not to believe the nagging thoughts that tell us our worth is linked to how many times we go to every event we’ve ever been invited to attend. We can redirect our focus. We can say, ‘yes’ to ourselves by saying no to others instead of racing along the next several weeks in a daze.
What do we receive in return? Endurance. We learn what it takes to be the best version of ourselves – what to say no to and what to welcome with a big, confident yes! We participate in the gatherings that invite the most happiness into our moments and have the energy to deal with the unannounced, uncomfortable things that happen too.
“Yes’ to ourselves is the new ‘yes’ to everyone else. It truly is the only way to live a vibrant quality of life for years to come. It’s the way we stay true to ourselves and avoid getting sick.
Endurance is all about staying healthy. It’s living in a way that keeps us resilient. And that means we need to take care of our immune system.
Stress causes inflammation. And inflammation is linked to conditions that range from headache and constipation to rheumatoid arthritis and uncomfortable moon cycle symptoms. So the prescription is to choose wisely, so we can sustain our energy.
Read on to learn what you can do to prevent burnout. Think of these as your lucky seven holiday habits:
- Enjoy caffeine in moderation in the morning.
- Block off time on your calendar to exercise. Don’t compromise.
- When eating carb loads, sprinkle black pepper on the meal to digest it easier.
- Eat healthy meals in between holiday parties so you can indulge without guilt.
- Sip warm ginger tea between meals to support your digestive system.
- Decide on a non-negotiable early bedtime during evenings at home.
- Take deep breaths in the quiet moments. If they are difficult to find, create them.
Caryn has wisdom beyond her years and offers it to the world by connecting clients to their innate healing wisdom. Caryn is an expert in surviving cancer. She is a published writer, public speaker and yoga + meditation instructor. Caryn a natural connector who inspires others daily with her vulnerability and force to be reckoned with ability to create and hold space for others.
On Jan. 24, she will co-host Power and Grace Self-Care with holistic health coach Elli Richter and fitness expert Susan Patterson at Urban Yoga on King Street where guests will engage in a full experience of yoga class and meditation to strength and mind and body, followed by health hacks for the soul. Learn more about Caryn and her programs at carynohara.com.