The holidays can derail us.
We arrive in November as our normal selves, and then get knocked out of alignment until January. Then we pull ourselves together when we enter the “real world” again on January 1.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the family, the decorating, the vacation.
A lot of us go into the holidays with good intentions.
So why does this derailment keep happening to so many normal, good people?
Because of what I like to call the 3 f-words of the holidays.
In isolation, these are all wonderful things. Put them together without a safety net and they can be a very volitile combination.
Let’s break it down-
1. Family. We love them. But when we’re with the extended family over the holidays, we somehow become 10 years old again. We feel self-conscious. Our awesome accomplishments become deflated. It’s keeping up with the Jones’ on steroids.
Our sense of self can get diluted when we’re around people that we want so badly to like us – or at least approve of us- or just simply acknowledge us. And it can be hard to dismiss family members’ ideas about us- no matter how off the mark they are.
2. Feelings. Having that many thoughts about other people and what they think of us can create some pretty uncomfortable feelings. We’re angry, frustrated, annoyed, sad. Fill in the blank.
And in those moments, we tend to forget that we’re the ones making us feel that way. Not our mothers, or cousins or in-laws.
We forget that we’re in control of our emotions. We forget it because we’re too busy handing that power over during our emotional childhood tantrums.
Which brings us to the tasty glue that ties this whole landscape together.
3. Food. Our thoughts are swirling. We have no desire to feel our emotions at the time. We look around the room and see…food. Lots and lots of food. Not just a big meal, but also an all day super buffet of food. So we eat…and eat…and eat…
And then we just give up on ourselves because we eat so much that there isn’t possibly a way out. Because it’s just easier not to think about it. Because we ‘deserve it’. And we can just pick it all back up in the new year. Right?
I, for one, am not going to give in to this line of thinking.
These conditions can exist and I’m not buying into them.
Let that uncle be crazy, let the overachieving cousin whip out the resume at the table. Let the whole family gossip about me being a total loser- in front of me.
Because I will come with my secret weapon.
Amazing, good-feeling, anger-neutralizing thoughts.
And I have some good ones.
My butt matters.
I create my feelings and right now I want to feel amazing.
That’s not my shit. (TY Lin Eleoff for one of my new favorite thoughts!)
It’s no biggie to feel my feelings right now.
Your acknowledgement has nothing to do with me.
Your approval has nothing to do with me.
I’m in charge of how I’m feeling and they’re in charge of how they’re feeling.
I love my body more than your cooking.
And a few more goodies that I keep in my pocket at all times…
This is exactly how it’s supposed to be.
What is perfect about this right now?
I love you, but no thank you.
There is nothing wrong here.
All doors lead to the same path.
What are some of your holiday-busting thoughts?
Here’s to thriving during the holidays and a whole new year of happiness.