Realistic Well-Being Goals for the Holidays

The holiday season comes with many commitments and often feelings of being overextended. When you start to experience anxiety or dread thinking about all of the calendar appointments and to-dos this month, your well-being can easily be compromised. Here are some tips to help keep your sanity and physical health intact:

Take time for you.
It is not selfish to carve out time for personal well-being, whatever that looks like in your life. It could be getting a massage, intentionally taking lunch outside of the office, or dropping the kids off with a babysitter for a couple of hours.

Remember to breathe.
When you feel tension creeping up, especially into the muscles around your neck and shoulders, take two minutes to breathe deeply and relax your shoulders back and down. This can help fend away stress and tension headaches.

Block time on your calendar for exercise.
Whether it is a workout class or your own workout in the gym, schedule the time and hold true to it like you would any other important appointment.

Many times undue stress comes because we are afraid to say no to invitations or requests. Finding ways to say no while still respecting other people can empower you to keep a schedule that is sustainable.

  1. Rather than simply saying, “No,” which can be hard for many people, you can decline with the offer of another solution, such as, “No, I cannot complete that report by tomorrow, but is Wednesday still acceptable?” Or, agree to the request with added terms that allow both parties to benefit, such as “Yes, I can take Jack to basketball practice, but in return, would you stop at the grocery on your way home?”
  2. Protect your priorities. When an added event or responsibility directly conflicts with a priority of yours, such as evening family time, say no to the request in a way that sticks up for your values. Other people will be more likely to respect your time.
  3. Know that you can’t do everything. Many times we can’t fault other people for asking us to overcommit, but rather we get ourselves into sticky situations by volunteering for everything that comes our way. There are many meaningful things to be involved in, but before you sign up to volunteer at a charity or sit on a taskforce at work, examine what you are already doing and what you have coming up in the near future, while still leaving margin for personal well-being.

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