Hello Love!

I hope you are doing well this holiday season! I know the holidays can have a different sentiment each year depending on what’s going on in your life at the time, but know that I am sending you peace and love, regardless. I so appreciate you being a part of my community and circle – thank you for being here.

With that being said, I know a lot of feelings and challenges can come up during this time of year, so I made a list of the most common ones I hear about and am sending some brief thoughts on each.

Of course, I can’t cover every single topic in this email nor can I cover each one in its entirety, so this is not intended to be a comprehensive guide but in it is some ideas that may help you begin to manage whatever “holiday hangover” symptoms you’re experiencing as the New Year approaches. 

*Holiday Hangover* Remedies

 

Symptom #1: Starting a new diet with a vengeance / feeling guilty about what you ate during the holidays

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Not giving yourself permission to experience freedom around food year-round which often leads to feeling a need to indulge as much as possible in this short period of time before you begin following your food rules / diet again (think: open bar or all-you-can-eat buffets – the mentality that because you can, you should get the *most bang for your buck* and take advantage of it while you can, even if you make yourself sick doing it)
  • Buying into unhealthy expectations of how your body needs to look based on images regularly seen in the media
  • Buying into the marketing around dieting and weight loss that comes up EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. (Spoiler: Almost none of these approaches typically work)
  • Lack of deep understanding and work done to address the challenging and painful emotions you experience this time of time and/or year-round around your body and food

Examples of Treatment & Care:

  • Begin to give yourself permission to truly enjoy your food throughout the year, not restricting food groups and hating the food you eat. If you eat with moderation year-round, it can help you have a holiday season that feels SO much better, both in mind and body
  • Reduce your exposure to homogeneous body / beauty types perpetuated by the media (e.g., unfollow social media accounts that don’t support body diversity, follow people who may expand your idea of what a healthy body can look like, etc. – it may seem minor, but scrolling through your feed all day DOES have an impact on your brain)
  • Practice acts of self-care and take care of your body. Find ways to show it some love. Contrary to what you may believe, it’s your biggest ally, not your worst enemy
  • Invest in yourself (meaning your heart and soul and ALL of you) this year instead of another diet and all the related products being sold to you as “must-haves” in order to *succeed*. Journal. Read inspiring and helpful books. Find a community or a few friends you can talk with regularly. Work with a therapist, coach, mind-body health coach, or any trained professional to help

 

 

Symptom #2: Feeling broke after shopping for gifts and spending money 

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Believing we need to spend a lot of money on others in order to show that we truly care about them, prove that we are successful by spending a lot, etc.
  • Belief that you are destined to be broke forever and will never have as much as you need, so you enter a cycle of spend (because what does it matter if I never have enough anyway) and remorse (because you are spending way more than you are making on a regular basis, and it’s giving you ulcers)
  • Not spending with intention – not taking the time thinking about how much you’d feel good about spending on gifts before you even start shopping

Examples of Treatment & Care

  • Dig deeper into your relationship with money. A lot of our feelings around money have to do with our unaddressed, deep-seated beliefs about wealth and scarcity. Sufficiency and abundance are experiences, feeling states, not dollar amounts. Money is simply one form of energy we have. Ask anyone who is truly happy and who lives on $1 a day
  • Remember that there are so many ways that we can give and share with one another. Creating an undue financial burden by overspending just turns you into a ball of stress, which doesn’t help anyone, especially not you
  • Appreciate the money you have. I know it might sound scary and counter-intuitive, but actually look at your bank account and credit card statements, even if you’re in the red. Instead of regret, show gratitude for the money you DO have in the bank, and be grateful for what that money spent on your credit card has been able to give you
  • Ask yourself why you’re bothered by how you used your money, and focus on working on THAT rather than stressing about what’s already been done
  • Carry onward. Use this feeling as a reminder of how you want to use your financial energy going forward. Does it feel good to have spent the money? Maybe it does! But if not, know that you don’t have to spend in the exact same way again. Just because you normally it this way doesn’t mean you can’t do things differently in every moment going forward
  • Begin to plan and set intentions before you spend rather than doing so mindlessly

 

Symptom #3: Exhaustion from loads of obligations you tended to for the last month

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Believing you have to go to and do everything because it’s *tradition* or what your family wants to do, regardless of whether or not you want to do it
  • Thinking that this is the most important time of year to spend time with everyone, therefore doing so out of obligation rather than desire, and forgetting that the rest of the year is filled with opportunities to gather together and connect
  • Focusing on taking care of and making everyone happy except for yourself
  • A need to make things perfect in order to create the *right* memories

Examples of Treatment & Care:

  • Practice checking in with your body over the next year when deciding what you would and would not like to do, and use it during the next holiday season. Get familiar with the sensations that are a clear “yes” or “no” or what “neutral” / “not yet” feels like in your body. It is smarter than you probably give it credit for
  • Reserve the right to change your mind. Know that it’s OK if you skipped on something and/or know that next year it’s OK not to go instead of forcing yourself like you did this year. Plus, you probably won’t be much fun to be around if you don’t even want to be there, so you’re doing everyone a service by honoring your evolving needs and thereby giving others permission to do the same
  • Recognize that most people value the simple things. It’s less about things looking, tasting, feeling, sounding perfect than it is about you showing up with love and being present. This is the true spirit of almost all holidays; the communion of loved ones
  • On the flip side, maybe you enjoy spending the holidays alone and get a lot of guilt for that. Props to you for owning what is most appropriate for you. The holidays are what you make of it, and it certainly doesn’t make sense to force something you know isn’t good for you rather than to do what feels most true and right for you.
  • Lastly – Yes, there are trade-offs when you say no to something, but there are also trade-offs when you say yes to something, whether those trade-offs are obvious to you yet or not.

 

Symptom #4: Family overload & emotions

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Lots of old, unaddressed issues get retriggered by spending tons of time with people who you don’t normally see that often anymore
  • Lack of alone time can leave all of us with little energy to recharge and make us snappier or grumpier than usual, causing more arguments
  • Especially if you visit your childhood home, being back in that geographic location can take you on a mental regression back into unproductive behaviors from your younger self

Examples of Treatment & Care:

  • Work on some of these challenges and triggered issues during the year through various means, including some of the ones mentioned earlier, like journaling, reading helpful books, finding a community or a few friends you can talk with regularly, and/or working with a therapist, coach, mind-body health coach, or any trained professional to help. This can help it to feel less overwhelming to be around the people who seem to challenge you the most
  • If it feels safe to do so, have some brave and honest conversations with your loved ones once the holiday emotional chaos calms down, and start to address some of the challenges and feelings you are experiencing. This can be really hard and vulnerable, but it is almost always worth it
  • Take time yourself after the holidays and relax if you can. Also, when planning your holidays next year, be sure to set clear boundaries and schedule in pockets of “me time” to rest and rejuvenate. That may mean staying at a hotel or taking a day to go do something alone, whatever it may be, make a conscious effort to carve out time for yourself
  • If you’ve already done a lot of work on these relationships, but they continue to be toxic, you can assess how often (or if at all) you’d like to see these people and in what circumstances you want. This can always change over time, but give yourself the freedom to say “no” to family things sometimes (or all the time).

 

 

Symptom #5: Clutter (gifts you don’t want, decorations, wrapping paper, etc.) all over the place

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Often when our lives are chaotic, our environment can begin to reflect that, so if you’ve had a busy holiday season, this is the same
  • Bad gifts happen. You can’t always avoid these

Examples of Treatment & Care:

  • Prioritize your clutter. Be patient with yourself, but actively work on cleaning up a bit at a time, and know that it took a month to make the mess, so it may take more than one day of crazy cleaning to get it all back in order
  • Clutter can overwhelm your mind and make it hard to get other things done, so one thing I’ve found helpful is to focus on the areas of my house that I spend the most time in, as the improved cleanliness will have the greatest impact on me
  • Return or re-gift the gifts you’ve received and don’t want. You don’t need to keep things purely out of guilt or sentimental value. If it’s not going to bring you joy and/or get used, it will eventually get tossed in the trash or given away anyhow. Be honest with yourself about whether or not this gift is something you’d like to dedicate precious space in your home to, no matter how big your home is

 

And as for the new year…

Symptom #6: Scapegoating 2016 and depending on 2017 to make it all better

I’ve heard A LOT of people saying things along the lines of “2016 was the WORST, I can’t WAIT for 2017!” Don’t get me wrong, I feel you; This has been one HELL of a trip around the sun. However, we need to be mindful of our approach.

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Giving your power away to things like “the year” through blaming outside circumstances for your challenges
  • Truly believing you have no say in what happens in the world or in your life and/or you don’t want to take on the responsibility to make sh*t happen because it feels scary or overwhelming

Examples of Treatment & Care:

  • It is tempting to place blame for everything that went wrong on the year itself and to place large amounts of hope and expectation on 2017 to make things right
  • If you truly want 2017 to be “your year”, then I encourage you to take ownership and responsibility for your role in all of this. This isn’t about blaming yourself, it’s about taking your power back
  • Look back at 2016 – What has changed for you this year What amazing things have you learned and/or done this year? What things did you not really enjoy or did not turn out as you had hoped?
    Congratulate yourself for making it through the year
  • Celebrate your wins and your joy, and honor the challenges you’ve faced, but then ask yourself how you are going to use those lessons learned to set your intentions and app roach for 2017
  • Look within. Ask what YOU can do differently next year to make 2017 a better year for you and the rest of the world. I think it’s pretty clear to most of us that as a world, we are facing challenging times of transformation, but if each of us is given power as individuals. If we each use our individual power, we can collectively enact the changes we want to see in the world
  • So don’t give your power to 2017 like so many of us did in 2016. Think of it as a reset, a chance to start fresh, take a hard look at where we are, and do something about it to make it just that much better

 

Symptom #7: Writing a long, overwhelming list of resolutions to save the world and finally have a perfect life

Common Causes & Triggers:

  • Regretting what you did or didn’t do (in the year or in holidays) & feeling the need to do more in 2017
  • Deep-seated desire for perfection
  • Trying to use a patchwork solution on a much deeper desire or wound

Examples of Treatment & Care

  • FOCUS! (see below)
  • Choose one cause, and dedicate your time and energy to that. It can be tempting to want to solve everything, but then we often end up burning out and not really dedicating ourselves to anything in the longer term. Plus, if we all picked just *one* thing instead of feeling super overwhelmed by how many things need help and then not doing much of anything about any of them, we’d get to a much better place collectively
  • The same goes for your life. Pick one area of your life that you feel most passionate about improving and start there. The positive impacts will likely trickle into other areas of your life, and once those goals become deeply ingrained habits or achieved milestones, you can move onto the other areas.
  • Adapt. Remember that there are things that may happen in 2017 that we can’t predict or even imagine at this point (I’m sure many of us can find at least one thing this year like this…) Ride the wave of 2017, but know that while the conditions around you may change, you also have the power to change your approach and ride the wave totally differently based on what is needed. You don’t need to stop moving and fall victim to messy conditions. Instead, use it as an opportunity to reassess and then either redirect your efforts somewhere else or get super creative about how to continue moving in the same direction with some new obstacles in the way.

As always, feel free to share this with anyone who may find it helpful, and I look forward to hearing how it helps you.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year! See you in 2017 🙂

Hugs,
Ryann

P.S. If you need some help with this (or other related topics) and are interested in possibly working together, comment below or click the ‘Contact’ link above, and let’s get talkin’!

(Disclaimer: In case it wasn’t already clear, I am not a doctor or financial adviser, and the structure of this post is written in jest and to keep things fun, not as a substitute for medical or financial advice. Always consult a medical or financial professional about your physical, mental, or financial health or to discuss lifestyle changes.)