Hello Reader! The first week of American holidays is here! I’m sure you are ALL set and ready to go for what comes. However, if you want some holiday enjoyment hacks, read on dear reader and then let me know how it goes!
- On the go? Bring snacks
“Hangry” never gets the job done because we are not ourselves when we are hungry. If you know you will be out and about take a portable snack, and if you plan to drive for any holiday events take water and a snack in the car with you. You will tackle the list and arrive happier.
Bonus: Traveling somewhere new? Take a screen shot of the route in case you lose service.
- Team up.
If the holidays are rough and/or lonely, connect with some close friends who help you stay healthy and plan times to coach each other via text, face-time, or phone. If there are certain times of day or the week that are especially rough, share that with each other and be proactive for the other person. Also, please don’t spend actual holidays alone telling yourself you will just binge watch a few online episodes; instead team up with a local community service for a day of giving or gather some healthy friends together for some treasured friend time, or do both!
BonusX2: Teaming up with your pet – help your dog, cat, iguana…with the holidays by training them how to interact with new people and get them ready for weather changes too. Teaming up with your kids –use immediate and small rewards, prepare them for hugging, check in with them, and determine an escape space when around family or friends.
- Talking points! Practice what to say at gatherings
Think ahead of how you can answer those repeat questions that come with holiday events or extended family gatherings. When you plan your talking point, you will stay on point and keep yourself less stressed.
Bonus: Give younger kids conversation tips too, ex: Honey, did you know Sarah is on your soccer team? Maybe you two could chat about ideas and then show each other new moves in the yard.
- Rewrite the script for family events
Talking points typically follow a pattern too. We all know how the family script goes for an event. Since you know what is going to happen, use it for your own benefit and change your role. When you change one thing that you typically do, it will impact the entire scene. If you get another family member in on the rewrite, the event could be better than ever.
Bonus: Do a run-through with a close friend before you go and check in with your team while you are in the throws.
- Stick to routines even during the holiday
It is super easy to dislodge yourself and others from the regular rhythm when the holiday season goes into gear. Kids and pets need routines for meals, exercise, play, and rest. You need time for your own rhythm too! As much as possible, maintain those daily rhythms and holidays just got more enjoyable.
Bonus: Include visiting friends or family in your daily walks, errands, etc. and they will feel more part of your world.
The holiday season always brings added emotions, plans, stress (healthy and not-so-much), and constraints. But when you plan ahead and then mindfully and intentionally approach each event, all that becomes a bit simpler.
Which one of these hacks will you implement this holiday week?
Send me a line and let me know how it’s going with these tips!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs the Streams Counseling Center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
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