Four holiday traps to avoid so you can handle the holidays like a boss!

We all want to feel refreshed after these holidays. To have great connections and fun with people we love and to spring into the new year with gusto!

But there are four traps that almost everyone falls into that can really screw up a restful and fun holiday period. 

Once you know them, you can make the best holiday yet!

On my free training call this week, I coached a bunch of fabulous people on these four traps. It was brilliant fun. I'd link to the recording but IT DIDN'T WORK! Boo! So instead, here are the highlights for you to apply to your own life.

Trap #1. Saying yes to things without checking in with yourself

If you're like most people I know limping towards the end of the year, you need a break. By a break, I mean actual rest and relaxation, not running from event to event, shopping for people you don't even like and collapsing in a heap every night.

So trap number one is simply, not checking in to see if you still want to do what you committed to. Yep, here's permission to cancel things and sleep in, or sit at home and chill out, or go and see totally different people! Whatever works!

One person who called in on Wednesday has already gone through her schedule and made adjustments. She's feeling happier and relieved! Yay!

Trap #2 Assuming the best of difficult people

If Aunt Mary always finds a way to be negative and offensive, it's best to assume this will continue indefinitely. I'm not being pessimistic here, I'm letting go of fantasies. I'm going with reality.

When we pretend that repeat offenders aren't going to press our buttons *this time*, we open ourselves up for a shock. We're not ready for the next offensive or negative comment. We end up tired, triggered or just plain angry.

It's best to assume that that special someone you will be seeing this holiday period will be themselves.

So... what to do? There are lots of options.

Avoid them: Don't go to the event or don't go near them. 

Set conversational boundaries: Have a go-to subject that they love talking about that you can use when they are on their high horse. Have a signal with someone else there when you need to escape (a secret word or action). Just make an excuse to sit somewhere else, leave early or anything to get out of being trapped with them.

Make it a game: This is my favourite and we had a lot of fun with this on the call. You choose some kind of reward for yourself and count how many times your special someone is offensive, negative, inappropriate, whatever presses your buttons. Then when you get to 10 or 20, you get the reward.

On the call, one person is planning to buy a book every 20 comments, another to build up time to spend however she wishes (away from the family) and another to buy fabulous art supplies! 

The beauty of this approach is that you don't take to heart comments so much, you're more focused on it leading to a reward :)

Trap #3 Planning for events, not how you want to feel

Here's a hot tip. Ask yourself, "How do I want to feel these holidays?". 

What words come to mind?

For me it's peaceful, connected and fun.

Now look at your planned events and overall schedule and see if those events/your schedule will leave you feeling how you want to feel.

So for me, I would look at a family BBQ and say, will this bring me peace, connection and fun? Well yes, there's every potential for that, but only if I don't get stressed about food etc. So I will just need to be prepared early and regularly check in with myself to make sure I'm not getting worried over it.

trap #4 Taking the "screw it" approach to self-care

Oy. This is SO familiar to me. The "screw it" approach is when you just decide to screw looking after yourself for a period of time.

Do you ever think, I'll just eat whatever, even though I will feel like crap later. Screw it.

I don't need to do my usual exercise (that makes me feel great). Screw it.

I can stay up late drinking every night. It's the holidays! Screw it!

Now, I'm not saying don't have fun. HAVE FUN. I'm not saying don't eat for joy or talk and play long into the night. I'm just saying, don't drop the things you need to thrive.

If you take the screw it approach for more than a night at a time (and you know if you can't even get away with this), then you will end your holiday worn out, wrung out and gasping for vegetables, a glass of water and an early night.

The screw it approach also means your mental health probably wont be as good as usual, nor your patience or ability to cope with the ups and downs of life.

So there you go! Focus on what you need to put in place to have an amazing holiday. A little bit of thought now will go a long way!

It's in your hands.

You know what else is in your hands? Doing work that you LOVE. If you'd like to go for a bigger or more fulfilling career in 2017 I can help. Read here to find how we can work together.

xx Lara

Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.

Connect with me via Facebook and Instagram.