Why do we change our daily routine around the holidays? If we’ve established what works best for us on our ordinary days, then doesn’t altering it for special days make us worse off? How about when we alter it for days upon days in preparation for the holiday?
Often the habits that support our own wellness are the first to go, evident by the emptier yoga classes and the crowded malls this time of year. It’s a funny phenomenon, really, that we take what many of us consider the most sacred time of year and plunge into self-neglect, often with bells on. And in the name of Jesus Christ.
For better or worse, it doesn’t take much ‘extra’ to make me feel out of sorts. I know I’ve had too much holiday hoopla when I start doing things like searching for my phone while I am holding it in my hand. Or creating a shopping list and then promptly losing it. My mind does not do the two- places- at- once thing well, and frankly I don’t even want to.
I don’t want to give up writing for weeks leading up to a holiday. Or even for a few days. Ditto for yoga or jogging or cooking healthy meals or any of the other things that make me happy on ordinary days.
Around the time of my high school prom our History teacher asked the girls why we were making hair appointments for the big event. I assume the way you wear your hair every day is the way you think it looks best, so why change it for prom? he asked. I thought he had a good point which I guess is why I still remember his statement so many years later. There was something just a little relevant to life here, not just to proms and hairdos.
I enjoy the holidays so much more when I don’t allow them to take over my life, and in particular, my life style. Holidays are fun, but I like ordinary days. My dopamine levels are doing just great on ordinary days, thank you. I’m not really looking for a shot of wow. I’d rather push my limits in a completely different area of life.
What if everyone leaned into the holidays only as far as they found enjoyable and no more? It’s not always an easy task, identifying your ideal level of holiday stimulation and drawing the line there. It has a lot to do with temperament and personal preference, and maybe a dozen other things. I think it’s worth figuring out for ourselves though, when to shake things up- and when the ordinary hairdo is just right.