Is this you?
It’s the last two weeks of the year and your anxiety level is rising, your to-do list is still long and you are putting everyone else’s needs and wishes before your own. You go through this every December and every January you’re exhausted and get a bad cold or flu, right?
Well, you’ve got a lot of company but it’s not a happy group and you won’t see my face in that crowd. Not anymore.
A few years ago, I started questioning why everyone gets colds in January. I have a couple of theories and neither has anything to do with the weather. Where DID that myth come from anyway? Everyone knows by second grade that germs make you sick. You don’t catch a cold by going out in the cold.
So what causes you to get sick in January and blow all your new years resolutions to eat better, exercise more and work smarter?
Here’s my theory-two big mistakes:
Finger food. Yes, you read that right. We go to holiday parties and office parties where everyone is putting their hands in the same bowls of nuts or candy. You know that woman you see in the public restroom perfecting her makeup and hair but forgetting to wash her hands? Well, she had her fingers in that same platter of treats. Enough said?
That’s an easy one to avoid. I eat before I go to the party unless it’s a sit down dinner. I never, ever sample finger food. Period. Sound extreme? I haven’t had a cold since 1991.
Stress: The second reason for the January flus and blues is a tougher one to overcome because it involves major mind-shifts. It means putting fewer expectations on yourself and excepting that the holidays aren’t gong to be perfect. No one’s going to love you any less for it and you’re going to love yourself a lot more.
Some years ago I realized I was absolutely no good to my family or anyone else if I was exhausted and grumpy. I stopped seeing it as my responsibility to make everyone’s holiday happy. I started sending New Years cards instead of Hanukkah and Christmas cards and one year, they didn’t go out until nearly Valentines Day. I don’t think I lost any friends.
I’m going to suggest that right now, today, with only days until both Hanukkah and Christmas, you just STOP. Sit down and look at your list. Give yourself permission to alter those you haven’t done yet. What can you give the people on your list that doesn’t require you to run around to those crowded stores?
Here are a few ideas:
Gift cards to Amazon or Itunes. Amazon ships physical gift cards in a pretty box with bow and free next day delivery.
Give a donation to a cause that you know the person feels strongly about. You can do this online as well and the person receives a card showing that donation was made in her name.
Give a coupon to do a “mitzvah”. In the jewish tradition, this is a good deed. Give a certificate for baby (or parent) sitting, closet cleaning, a cooked meal or whatever you are good at that the person would appreciate your help with.
Another BIG stress factor in January is money. You charge gifts in December and are faced with a big credit card bill in January. And if you’re still in a job, you may resent having to go to work to pay off those bills, right?
This last suggestion may seem counterintuitive to you but it will forever change that pattern of stressful December followed by exhaustion in January?
I’m suggesting you buy YOURSELF a gift. Yes, even if it means putting more money on your credit card because it’s the most important gift you will give.
What if you could give yourself a gift this year that meant:
- No more dreaded office parties-and no more contaminated finger food.
- No more last minute rushing around because your time is your own.
- No more stress over how to pay off those bills in January because when you need more cash, you can give yourself a raise.
No, I haven’t had too much eggnog. There really is a gift you can give yourself that will ensure 2012 will be the first year you face the holidays on your own terms.
Make 2012 the year your dreams of an ideal livelihood become reality. CLICK HERE to find out how.