Obviate Holiday Overwhelm by Saying No.

Day 8

What’s your number one holiday pitfall? Is it the creamy, sweet, and sure-to-give-you-a-hangover nog? (Here’s a Not So Naughty Nog alternative if you need one!) Is it the cookie tin full of fudge and edible snowmen you get from your neighbors? Or is it that you linger a little too long at the cheese station that’s generously offered at your corporate party? If you tend to binge during the holidays, you may want to read up on how to Tis the Season Shame-Free.

If your holiday snag is skipping workouts when you need them most, check out “Get Fit in 15 Minutes or Less” for a High Intensity Interval Training session that is sure to rock your body into soiree worthiness in less time than it takes you to finish a Peppermint Patty Martini.

There is one more holiday downfall that comes to mind, which I have historically been guilty of. That of over-committing. I was on the train shortly after Thanksgiving, listening to a group dish about their various gatherings. The man of the group was describing his intimate Friendsgiving where eight guests gathered, and he was naming who was there. One of the gals listening in said, “Oh, Debra didn’t make it?” and he responded with, “No, she called to explain her predicament ensued by over-committing and needed to graciously bow out.” The man also went on to say that Debra went above and beyond what is necessary when canceling by courteously delivering two scrumptious pies to the house the morning of his gathering.

While listening, I sat there considering the days of December strung together with cocktail parties, holiday dinners, and tree trimmings, and examined the overlap with my personal commitments to update my blog, create content for my forthcoming Virtual Wellness Studio + Boutique, honor my Winter Solstice Rituals, handwrite holiday cards, and maintain a consistent at-home yoga practice. Tied in is the need to prepare for January travel, the crafting of two new food products, and continued recipe development for clients.

Visualizing my schedule laid out in entirety, you’d assume I’d be unraveling at both ends. But, I’m not. Why? As I approach each new day, meditation and journaling are non-negotiable. Also non-negotiable is making time for relaxation and exercise. And, particularly at this time of year, I limit stress and feelings of insanity by saying no to obligatory social events, or any event I simply do not want to attend.

I know that if my personal vows are ignored, I undermind my commitment to self-love, and ultimately do not feel enthusiastic about attending ANY affair. For me, back-to-back nights of indulgence do not serve me well, and neither does showing up to a swanky party looking or feeling haggard!

I just felt your mood shift, and get the sense you are internalizing this message and evaluating all you have going on this month. I am also getting the sense that ‘No’ is not the most commonly used word in your vocabulary. If all you can say, is “Yes, Yes, Yes!”, then tune into the suggestions below for slimming your schedule, or you may start to feel run down right as you are entering the New Year and that is simply not ideal.

Take a peek at the following ways to delicately decline while maintaining your status on the invite list for future events:

1.  Be committed to yourself first. If you are feeling run down or stretched thin between lighting ceremonies and galas, know you are doing yourself and others an injustice by piling on another engagement.

2.  There is no need to give a detailed explanation as to why you wish not to attend. A simple, yet sincere, “I am sorry that I won’t be able to make it to your party. It sounds wonderful, but I already have another commitment,” is completely acceptable. A gracious host will not pry for the ‘why’ or try to make you feel guilty.

3.  RSVP in the manner you were invited. If the invite was sent via e-mail, replying electronically is welcome. Evites and Facebook invitations have dedicated “Yes” or “No,” fields that make a response convenient, and do not require an explanation. When your presence is requested by phone, respond with a courteous voice message or commit to a conversation if you catch them on the line. Know that a short phone call is less of a commitment than actually attending the event, and also gives you the opportunity to connect during the season without leaving your house. All snail-mail invitations should be responded to in the desired format whether by a RSVP insert card, phone call, email, or web-based RSVP page. Honor the host with a timely response and in the manner requested.

4.  If you choose to follow Debra’s lead, and send a gift in place of showing your lovely face, consider sending a hostess offering that will lessen the loss felt by you not being there.

Wishing you happy holidays and peace of mind![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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