A Hectic Holiday Survival Strategy: Standing Your Ground and Self-Care
We are thrilled to introduce a good friend to share her thoughts today! The Mint Pixie has been a client of PelvicSanity since April 2017 and is truly a joy and inspiration to encounter each and every visit. She understands the value of self-care and has fought (and won!) many of her own health and wellness battles. We are so excited to have the opportunity for her to share her wisdom and experience. Be sure to check out her bio below and follow her blog for more inspirational posts!
This time of year is one of mixed emotions for many who may have a “challenging” extended family, or friends who expect us to do everything with them all the time. Many of us are already trying to figure how to meet all of our holiday obligations for ourselves, our kids, and for others whom we care for. When you look at your holiday calendar, are there a few things on there that you wish you didn’t have to do? A party or two that you would rather not attend? A family gathering that you wish you could bow out of? Have you planned time to keep a regular schedule for exercise and self-care?
When we consider what would truly make our own holiday season special, what if we could find a way to say no to others more, and yes to ourselves? If you want to stay in the weekend of New Year’s and spend a quiet, peaceful evening with those you love the most, your friends should understand if you don’t go to their house for the party that you usually attend. If you want to go out of town with your spouse and kids for a few days, over Christmas, your mom shouldn’t attempt to engage you in world-war three because her feelings are hurt. So how do we successfully say no to others, while keeping our own guilt at bay, and our sanity intact?
Here’s my list:
1. Speak your truth with love. And then let it go. What others think of what you had to say isn’t your problem, and is truly none of your business.
2. Realize that when others want you to participate in certain rituals or parties around the holidays, it’s not necessarily that they have your best interests at heart, but rather they always expect holidays and parties to be done a certain way, even if they have grown tedious and boring (and nobody wants to be the one to bring it up). Even when the people who go to them don’t really get along anymore. Just say no.
3. We have to always keep the oxygen mask theory in mind. You have to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of anybody else. At this time of the year when our time can be pulled in so many different directions, as mentioned above, we have to be able to say no, and then most importantly, not feel guilty. We should be able to do what we want to do for OUR holidays, and not be concerned with others’ expectations (usually ego driven). This is your holiday season, too; it doesn’t just belong to everybody else.
4. Some family members will absolutely freak out when you tell them that you are not going to be showing up to the traditional dinner or the usual gathering, and that you are actually choosing to do something different. Stand your ground, make sure that you let them know that you love them, but you have decided to do something different this year which is no reflection on them, and then perhaps consider suggesting they grab themselves a book on healthy boundaries. I am DONE bending over backwards trying to please the unpleasable. The book “Boundaries” by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend is a wonderful primer on how to get started with drawing some much needed and overdue healthy boundaries.
5. Keep sugar to a minimum. Yes, sugary treats are going to be all around us this time of year. But you are bigger and more powerful than food! Did you know that you can actually turn off your craving for sugary foods? The more that we eat a balanced, whole foods-based diet that includes minimal to zero processed foods, the more we change our intestinal terrain and gut flora to no longer crave sugar! And, we can get wonderful natural sugar from all of the fruits available in season. Since most of our immune system resides within the gut, we really want to watch what we put into our mouths, and remember that because we care for ourselves and we love ourselves, we don’t want to treat our tummy like a garbage dump. And the healthier the gut, the happier the brain- these work together hand-in-hand. Our busy brains need all the help they can get in this holiday season. Have you ever known a chronically angry, difficult, anxious, narcissistic person? How was their diet?
6. And last but certainly not least, the absolute best way to maintain your self care, self- love and self preservation during the season is to prioritize sleep. Sleep will be your foundation for everything else. Aim to be in bed by ten at the latest (to maintain circadian rhythms- ideally, earlier is better in the wintertime, as it gets dark SO early), and then make sure to get a solid eight hours. For a little help at night if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, many people find benefit from supplementing with Passionflower, L-Theanine, or Valerian Root.
The Mint Pixie is a writer, pattern-breaker, healthy-living advocate, encourager, truth-teller, creative artist, whole food cook, and is an adult survivor of childhood trauma and abuse. She believes in food as medicine, radical self-care, love, laughter, and living your truth and not apologizing for it. She writes on her blog at www.themintpixie.com and can be found on Instagram at @themintpixie. She lives In Orange County, California with her fabulously supportive husband, and two brave and awesome children.