4 Rules to Survive the Holidays
4 Rules to Survive the Holidays

4 Rules to Survive the Holidays

It’s Still Not Too Late!

You have centered your life around your career and you don’t take enough time for yourself. You get busy with projects, deadlines, and quarterly goals. Suddenly, you are out of time to plan your getaway or vacation. Worse, it may not be looking like a good time to go at all. Sounding about right? Yes, I know, you worked your entire life to get to where you are, but that doesn’t mean you should continue sacrificing your personal time, happiness, and joy, just so you can get in the extra hours of work.

The holidays are here and it is time for you to take care of yourself – not financially, but emotionally and internally. If you are one of the many high performers who either don’t plan for Christmas or the holidays or you wait until the last second – you know day or even night before gift buying – this is the year you are going to change that. This is the year, you are going to plan ahead, to make things easier on yourself, and to enjoy your vacation.

Rule Number One: Plan Things Around Your Own Needs

You have made the mistake in the past of getting home from work and heading straight to your family’s holiday party. It is tradition and everyone expects you there. Your family wants you to spend all week at their house because they barely seen you…even though you saw them last weekend for 2 hours. Truth is, you are not looking forward to their opinions or spending time with others when you need a break from it all. Bring friends or your significant other by the house? No way. It’s not an appealing proposition.

During my recent speech for Basic Training Academy to welcome the new team of local City Year Americorps members, we discussed how tough it is to balance your limited personal time with other obligations. When you make the plan for your vacation schedule, think about your needs. Put yourself first for once. Don’t think about what everyone else wants. Don’t consider when your brother wants you to come meet his new girlfriend on your one day off. Take care of you. Create a schedule that is easiest for you and gives you the most opportunities to relax, unwind, and recuperate. You will thank yourself for it later.

Start your vacation alone. Schedule time to go gift shopping ahead of time, even if it is online, that keeps you from stressing about last minute tasks. Plan family time, holiday parties with limitations, and the oh-so-exciting personal time. The best of all. Spa day, a good book, your favorite playlist. The preparation is going to be well worth it and save you from the hassle you have dealt with year after year.

Rule Number Two: Don’t Let Your Family Tell You What To Do

Yes, you read that correctly. It is time to stop letting your family run all over you. You do love them and care about them. You probably even want to spend some time with them. However, with the little amount of time you take off work, you don’t want to be with them for your entire vacation.

Believe me, telling your family when you are going to come see them or when they can come see you, isn’t rude. It is practical and it makes sense. It is what is best for you. Schedule the exact times you are going to visit with your family or better yet if it keeps your stress level down, have them come visit you. Let them know what days, times, or nights they can come visit you. Cater the meal with some planning or bring in a chef. Whatever you think will keep the peace. You get control that way…and less stress. Sounds amazing, right? So do it. Make this your year.

Rule Number Three: Make Things Easier On Yourself

You have a right to do this, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You work hard, work overtime, and you are constantly putting others first. Not anymore. You are going to make things easier for yourself this year. If you are usually too tired to enjoy your time off, make your family come to you. Hold the holiday party at your house, from say 4 to 7 p.m., and then it is done and over. You had your quality family time, nobody can say you didn’t. Now you can have alone time or go out with your friends.

Rule Number Four: Do Something Different

You are normally working on your vacation or you are just too tired to enjoy your time off. Don’t let that happen this year. The holidays should be a time for hope, renewal, creating memories, having fun, and relaxing…not stressing, beating yourself up over every calorie, or being miserable. In your plans to make a schedule, book a trip with your friends, go to a spa weekend, check out the scenery in a new place, plan a day for only you, travel to somewhere exotic, or create a new tradition. Go skiing alone. Do yourself a favor, make it to the holiday party in your community so you can finally say hi to that hot neighbor that just moved in down the road. Do something different, make your vacation one that you will never forget.

Planning your vacation schedule isn’t being a perfectionist…it is being smart, proactive, self-caring, and most of all brilliant. You are all those things…enjoy!

Check out my latest Youtube video – WHAT IF.  Work instead of worry | MOTIVATIONAL and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – @drtonimd

About Dr. Toni A. Haley

Toni A. Haley, MD is a bestselling author, speaker, and certified executive coach for high performing women. She is also the founder and CEO of Williams Wellness Group. Dr. Haley is sought after by clients for her 25 years of experience in finance, healthcare, and wellness. Her proven strategies have helped hundreds of women break through personal and professional barriers, such as Perfectionism, Martyr Complex, and Imposter Syndrome. She is a proud alumna of Morgan State University and Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Haley has committed her career to empowering women to achieve greater prosperity and wellness.