Holiday temptations

No matter what holiday you celebrate, December is a month rife with temptations. This holiday season, remember that when you say no to one thing, you’re saying yes to something else.

Say no to: bringing extra work home for the holidays. If you desperately need the extra credit to get a passing grade or money to cover the bill that was a little higher than you were hoping, that’s one thing, but don’t do it just because you can or think you should.  Being holed up in your room while your friends and family make merry downstairs is no way to spend the holidays.

Say yes to: taking care of the little things. When you’re too busy with the big stuff, little chores fall by the wayside, like that stack of unread mail on your bedside table.  Take a few minutes to yourself to sort through the things that have been piling up. A few bouts of organization, even in 15-minute increments, will make a huge difference.

Say no to: pushing yourself to make resolutions.  Striving to improve your life is fantastic, but as stated by Michael Gervais, Ph. D., New Year’s resolutions “are often based on improving personal faults, based on ‘not’ doing something.” Resolving to stop biting your nails or to stop being late all the time is well-meant, but hard to do: focus on the positive rather than the negative.

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Say yes to: making realistic goals.  Using the nail biting example, make measurable resolutions. Resolve to file any jags as soon as they appear and treat yourself to a new nail polish color to encourage you to keep them painted (so you’re less likely to mess them up).  For larger dreams, the same steps apply. Be positive, figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal and take the first one today.

Say no to: vegging out on the couch.  When you’re on holiday from work or school for the first time in too long, it’s tempting to grab some comfort food and settle in with a marathon viewing of your favorite guilty pleasure show. It’s healthy to have some downtime but don’t spend it all in front of your laptop, chowing down on holiday treats.

Say yes to: getting yourself out the door.  Ask your honey on a cozy winter date.  Be adventurous, grab some friends and go tobogganing.  Balance out the luscious holiday goodies with a cup of tea. Shovel your neighbor’s walk. Go grocery shopping for whatever your family cook forgot. Opportunities to get up and be active abound!

It’s hard to say no when temptation knocks at your door but, when the time comes to return to your everyday routine, you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle everything the new year brings.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

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