As jovial as they are, for many of us the holidays can be a stressful time to say the least. Whether you’re dealing with a hectic travel schedule, a house full of relatives, or a holiday dress that just won’t zip, it’s dangerously easy to slip into a negative head space during the holiday season. That’s why we asked around the IB offices to see how the team manages to stay sane and practice self love during the most wonderful (and challenging) time of the year.
LEARN TO SAY NO
Seeing as women been conditioned to bend to the will and wants of others since practically the beginning of time (thanks patriarchy), learning to say no is a liberating and 100% necessary practice especially during the holidays. Especially if you’re hosting the season festivities, there is no doubt that guests will ask (or expect) the moon of you. And while we all love spending time with and demonstrating love for our families, learning to say no to the things that cause us stress, negativity, and do not serve us is a must. “No I will not buy a vegan turkey for your boyfriend’s buddy who was brought along despite not having received an invitation.” “No I will not let you play the misogynist, ‘hilarious’ video you found on YouTube in front of my young daughter.” See? Easy.
DON’T FORGET YOUR MANTRAS
We’re a huge proponent of positive mantras all year round. But it can be easy to lose sight of the positive things we tell ourselves when all of the stress of holidays begins to cloud our focus. If you’re feeling anything less than what you are: strong, beautiful, and capable, write your mantra down on a slip of paper and keep it in your pocket at all times. When things get tough, slip your hand into your pocket and hold onto your mantra as a “you got this,” reminder.
DON’T COUNT, ANALYZE, AND OBSESS
We realize this is way easier said than done, especially if your anxiety prone. But whether you’re counting calories, trying to decode passive aggressive gestures from estranged family members, or picking apart your outfit to the stitch, knowing how to zone out and be in the moment is a necessity. Leave your phone in another room. Eat what you want to eat until you’re full. Take your outfit for what it is: fabulous. And take your interactions with unsavory family members at face value and move on. Doing these will spare you unnecessary stress, anguish, and self loathing – you’ll see.
Sure, the holidays are about giving – we get it. But be sure to leave some of yourself for you, too. Buy yourself a luxurious candle. Take the morning to indulge in that book you’ve been meaning to read. Get a facial. Don’t skimp out on your skincare routine. Take a nap (yes you can take naps!). Do whatever you need to do to feel special this season.