Thriving Through the Holidays

Our philosophy here (and in Erika's coaching) is based on Lindsay Duncan’s “cleanse, balance, build, and love” as a foundation to all things in life. Not only do I adopt this in my health nutritionally, but it also applies to all aspects of my life (i.e. relationships, faith, career, etc). I am going to start with a 3 part series on cleansing your life of negativity and any "toxins" you may allow into your mind and soul, and help you adopt some strategies in overcoming these hurdles in your life.

As the holidays are approaching, anxiety and stress may be setting in for some of you. While we love to get together with friends and family, there are expectations that have to be met, people to satisfy, houses to clean, turkeys to cook perfectly, palettes to please, and “diets” to stick to. Whether you are hosting the dinner or traveling, there are always expectations of you.

I want to give you some strategies to help take the stress out of the holidays and bring joy back to this time of year.

1. Identify the need for clear boundaries. When we think about cleansing, we think about purifying the body, detoxing, getting rid of unwanted junk, and starting fresh. There are a few keys in cleansing one’s relationships that will be helpful for you. Today, I want to address the first key and that is identifying the need for setting boundaries on the people you allow to influence you. What exactly does this mean?

When I think about a boundary, I think of a brick wall that cannot be crossed. You cannot climb over it or break through it. When setting boundaries, you have to determine first what you want your life to look like. We have said this more often than not: “like-minded people attract like-minded people.”  So what does this mean for you? It means that the people you allow to affect your life are people who have similar values, desires, and passions in life.

2. Identify broken boundaries. Many of us have lived our lives trying to please everyone, but in the end we find ourselves doing things we do not want to do, giving to others and never taking care of ourselves, making choices for the happiness of others, and always coming up short. It seems everyone else is living the life that we want to live.

Here is the secret (I hope you take this and digest it over and over again):
You have to let go of your co-dependence on your family and friends, set boundaries with them, and begin to invest in YOU! Too many people feel responsible for the happiness of others. REALITY CHECK: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHERS HAPPINESS! You are responsible for your own happiness and yours alone (not your husbands, not your parents, siblings, friends, the list goes on...). Here is the catch: when you choose to be happy, regardless of the situation, your behavior becomes contagious and you also begin to attract people that choose happiness as well!

3. Be bold and detox the negative. People are unpredictable and that is something that will never change, but if you can take this one thing and incorporate it into your daily lives, you can start to cleanse yourself of the mental and spiritual toxins that are inhibiting you from becoming the BEST you. You have to set strict boundaries on people. If you do not want to do something, say “no”. If you have a friend who is always negative and brings you down, step away from that relationship. If nothing is ever good enough for your mother-in-law, stop trying to please her. Stop looking for approval from other people and make choices for YOU! This is difficult at first. You probably will feel guilty and have the urge to revert back to old behavior, but nothing will ever change if you don't change first. But the good news is this: if you can make an empowered choice each day to choose happiness, set boundaries, and understand that the power to choose ultimately lies in your hands, you can slowly make changes towards creating true joy in life!

4. Stick to your guns. The power is in the action. Chances are you are not going to be able to completely avoid negative people around the holidays, especially if they are a part of your family or share mutual friends. But, here is what you can do...

Write down 5 boundaries that you're going to establish when you're surrounded by those who may intend to bring you down. If you're struggling to come up with these boundaries for yourself, think of how you want to feel, and dig deep to identify some of the ways you have let others make you feel opposite of that in the past. Lean into knowing how you DO want to feel, and when you sense the opposite of that in the present moment, guard your heart and your mind. Keep your vibration high and be a woman of definite boundaries. The buck stops with you! People will only push you as far as they think you can be pushed. If you are honest, unapologetic about speaking your truth, and confident with others, you're on your way to living the life you were meant to live.

5. Believe in your power to choose. My purpose in taking the time to encourage you all through this blog is to help you understand that you have the power to choose the life you want to live. I watch too many people blame others for their unhappiness, their trust issues, their discontentment, and not enough people understand that they have a choice in those emotions. I am not saying that people won’t hurt you, lose your trust, or disrespect you, etc. But I am saying that your reaction to those situations is solely up to you. You cannot control other people, so stop trying! Begin each day by investing in you, visualizing the life you want to live, and making a conscious decision every day to take one step towards that life!

How will you establish boundaries this holiday season? How will you apply this information to make sure you're creating your own joy instead of letting others dictate your mood? Are you confident that you can establish strategies to ensure a stress-free holiday season? How will you THRIVE this holiday season? Share in the comments below!

Post written by Meghan Johnson. To read more from Meghan click here.