Episode 28: 7 Hacks for Holiday Stress (Bonus Episode)

Ep 28 Cover Art

Holiday stress feels expected, but you don’t have to put up with it if you don’t want to. Taken from a live training I did in 2021, here are 7 tips or “hacks” for fighting off the holiday stress you don’t want to have:

  1. Slow down
  2. Don’t lose sight of your goals
  3. Drink lots of water
  4. Exercise: don’t take a vacation from moving
  5. Use shortcuts and let people help
  6. Say no
  7. Remember: this is temporary

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In this episode

  • Huffington Post article: 85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens
  • Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness—Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength via Amazon
  • Career FAQs article: 49 Ways To Say No To Anyone (When You Don’t Want To Be A Jerk)

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Transcript

[00:00] Paulette: Buen día y welcome to the Maker Muse Podcast, the place where child free Spanglish speaking mujeres fuertes are inspired to find their confidence, su confianza, through creativity. I’m Paulette Erato, the Maker Muse.

[00:17] Hey mi amigue, so even though the podcast is on hiatus with US Thanksgiving coming up and the end of the year stress that might be looming, especially for those of us with family-centric traditions, this topic is pretty timely.

[00:31] I actually recorded this way back in 2021 just after hosting my first ever Thanksgiving and before this podcast even existed. So you might hear some references to that. The topic itself, though, this list holds up. Check out the blog post linked in the show notes for the list in its entirety, because you know you’re gonna wanna refer back to it.

[00:51] Often.

[00:52] Like I mentioned, this was recorded before the podcast existed, so the audio’s going to be a little less than perfect. It is a live training from my group. I thank you for sticking with it. In fact, this happened so long before the podcast existed, I didn’t even have my signature sign off.

[01:10] Speaking of sign-off, stay till the end of this episode for a little, you know, opportunity shall we say. Maybe it’ll help you deal with the stress this season.

[01:20] Hi mis amigues. I hope you’re all drinking your water today and staying hydrated, which by the way is one of the seven hacks I’m going to fill you in on. So I appreciate everyone voting on the various titles I threw at you yesterday without any additional information.

[01:39] Um, I think for now, at least for this video, I settled on seven hacks for managing holiday stress cuz people are always looking for quick wins. But I mean, let’s be honest. One holiday stress is a choice. But two, stress compounds stress, and if it lasts for too long, if you live in that stressful environment for too long, it really starts to destroy your body. And there is no simple hack for that.

[02:08] You know, something that has prolonged effects on you isn’t gonna be fixed with a magic bullet. You can’t just wave a magic wand and make that go away. You have to take real steps to fixing and resolving those problems. So even though this is timely and will help you deal with any specific stress in December that you might face with everything that goes on at this time of year, if it’s something bigger than that, then it’s a bigger conversation.

[02:37] That said, I am going to go through the seven ways you can help manage that. Let me just list them out right away. One, slow down. Two, don’t lose sight of your goals. Three, drink lots of water. Three or four. . Four, don’t take a vacation from your goals.

[02:57] Five, do use shortcuts and let other people help. Ask for help. Six, you can say no. And seven, remember that this is temporary. Okay, so let’s do a deep dive into each of these. One is slow down. So let’s talk about what the holidays really are. You know, it’s the end of the year, you know, for those of us who may have to travel, you have deadlines at work, you have holiday events, you know, cocktail parties are coming up, or school pageants or this, that, and the other thing.

[03:29] And when you start to look at the calendar and you see so many things blocked out, it can start to feel overwhelming and it can feel like you’re drowning. But as you know, feelings are not facts. Feelings are just your brain’s way of reacting and interpreting to the stimulus around it. And you have control over how you react to the stimulus in your environment.

[03:53] So just take a look at your calendar and block out today. Just look at today. Take this one day at a time. And then I want you to actually take stock of this statistic. I got this from the Huffington Post. 85% of the things that we worry about, never happen. Never happen, 85%. So the things that you, that you end up worrying about, such a minuscule amount of them actually come to pass that it is not worth it.

[04:20] It is not worth putting time, energy, and quite frankly, the burden into, in thinking about it. I mean, if you’ve got stuff that you’ve gotta do this Saturday, but today is Wednesday, why are you worried about Saturday today? Because first of all, 85% of what you’re worried about isn’t gonna happen. So take 85% of your energy back and give it to Wednesday, give it to today.

[04:39] And then you’ve just gifted yourself back four whole days, and that is a gift you should give yourself this holiday season. Slow down. Take each day as it comes. Don’t go racing with your worry into the weekend. And stress less.

[04:53] Number two is don’t lose sight of your goals. You’ve got goals that you have all year long, right? Now is not the time to abandon them. Now is the time when you’re so close to the finish line that this is like running a marathon. So I’ve run two half marathons in my life and one full marathon, and they all suck. This is when I really determined I hate running, but I did them.

[05:11] And I learned that as I was beginning to lose my enthusiasm for what I was doing, as I was beginning to slow down, I needed to park people at specific mile markers because that’s when I knew I would need a water refresh, enthusiasm refresh, and just to know that I was looking forward to something. And those, for me in a 13.1 mile race, were miles four and nine. So I would park my parents and my friends with a new water bottle.

[05:36] Someone would be screaming my name to keep running and my enthusiasm, my energy would fuel right back up cuz I knew I had that to live forward to. So whatever your goals are right now, I want you to put those mile markers in throughout the month so that you’ve got that to look forward to. I talk about looking forward to things all the time and that how that helps increase your motivation.

[05:57] So whatever your goals are, let’s put in some guideposts to look forward to, and then if we don’t meet the goals, we know that that’s okay. You know, if I didn’t finish that half marathon in under three hours, I was not a failure. I still finished. I still got to the finish line. So refocus on you, right now. Whatever those goals are, refocus on you.

[06:19] Take a little extra me time cuz you deserve it and you’re probably gonna need it. Punch a pillow, go for a walk, you know, whatever it is, whatever that helps you extract yourself from whatever the environment might be and lets you have a little bit alone time with you, do that.

[06:35] Next up is my favorite: drink lots of water. So why am I always harping on drinking water? Uh, for one, it helps keep you full. And you’re supposed to be aiming for anywhere from eight glasses of water in about eight ounce glass to 16 glasses of water, a full gallon of water a day. Your body needs to be hydrated. You need to be watered like a plant.

[06:57] You need water. Your body requires water to continue to function. But also it’s excellent for flushing crap out of your system. I just hit my face. And I don’t just mean that you’re gonna have to pee a lot, but you will. Because you’re flushing stuff out of your system. But it also helps replenish your body so that you can battle fatigue, irritability, and what does stress actually look like?

[07:20] Fatigue and irritability are two ways to describe that. So it helps you manage that. If you are adequately watered, you can stress less. This also helps because you know, those cocktail parties, the holiday parties, they’re all coming up. It’s really easy to overindulge, especially if you’re stressed out. So if you maintain your water intake, like for every alcoholic beverage, I have a glass of water, you don’t over drink.

[07:44] You don’t put yourself in a situation where you might get too drunk and then have to pay for that the next day. And as you get older, that gets harder. Water is nothing but good for you. Now you can always drink too much water, but that takes like super human feats. So you know, like get gallon a day. I keep my water bottle here all the time.

[07:58] It’s also marked, although they’re washing off to 32, so I know how much water I’ve had, and I can remember to fill this up. I aim for three of these a day. That’s just under a hundred ounces of water. Do I hit it every day? No. No, I don’t. But there are days I do and I try to make sure I do those more than the days I don’t. I don’t try to be perfect because perfection is a lie. It’s just, it’s a myth.

[08:21] Next point. Don’t take a vacation from exercise. You might be taking a year of vacation now and getting some rest, and I’m really proud of you. If you are able to do that, great. Get your rest. Get your rest every day. But if it has to be all at this time of the year, please take your rest and do not feel guilty.

[08:37] You need rest. You are not a robot. You need to rest. And even robots are taken offline for maintenance. Heard me say this, regularly. Robots are regularly maintained, otherwise they. and you are not a robot. You need rest more than a robot so that you don’t break. But one of the things that keeps you going, keeps the management of stress manageable, is movement.

[09:00] I sit here a lot. I sit here in this chair a lot, many hours a day, and I know if I do that for too long, my back starts to get a little bit of a cramp in it, and I need to stand up. I need to stand up and move around. Now I have my workouts scheduled for 10:30 every day, so I just go and do them most of the time.

[09:16] But if you’re in a time crunch and the exercise starts getting deprioritized, try something new. Try something new. Any movement is better than no movement. So you can’t do your hour long gym workout? What about 20 minutes? Can you do a 20 minute walk? And you probably can. You should take breaks throughout the day.

[09:34] You should be taking breaks, and during those breaks you can stand up and move around. Some movement is better than no movement. What if you’re traveling? What if you have to travel and you’re not gonna have access to your regular gym or your boxing studio or whatever? Now’s a great time to start something to try something.

[09:50] The convict conditioning book is for body weight workouts, and it was created by people in jail who did not have access to regular weights and things that they did on the outside. If you’re a runner, try a different cardio workout, jump ropes, kickboxing. I’m a huge fan of that. The point is, move. Don’t stop moving.

[10:12] Five. Do not be afraid to use shortcuts and ask people for help. .So last week I hosted Thanksgiving. Right? So many ways that went right and so many ways it went wrong. But I’m a pro at it now, right? Right. Because now I know what I didn’t know, and I’m very excited about future opportunities to do that. But I asked for help.

[10:32] People offered help, and I took it because there’s no reason not to. There was no reason that I had to be 100% responsible for all of the side dishes and people offered. So I was like, Yes, thank you. But even if I hadn’t done that, I would’ve looked for shortcuts in the things I was doing. Not everything had to be made from scratch.

[10:50] Why? Who am I trying to impress with that? Things in a box worked just as well. I have a no bake avocado cheese cake recipe that when I made it, when I tested it out, to begin with, I used a store bought crust. Why? Because I don’t want to make a crust. I don’t want to. It takes a lot of time and energy. It takes science and precision and uuuuugh.

[11:11] I gifted myself back time and energy by not worrying about that. I just got a premade crust. Did it taste any different to the people who ate it? No, it did not. Most people cannot appreciate the difference between a homemade pie crust and a store bought pie crust, so in fact, some people prefer store bought. So look for ways where you can shortcut those things.

[11:33] You wanna make green bean casserole, that’s also a very popular Thanksgiving dish. Use canned green beans. Do not take the time to trim all the, like, what? Six cups of green beans that you have to do with, like, with fresh green beans. One, canned green beans are far less expensive. They are canned at the peak of their freshness, so they might actually be better than any green beans you can find in the store right now.

[11:57] So take help when offered. Ask for help when needed. Look for shortcuts. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. There’s, there’s no reason. The saying is, it takes a village. Do not be a village of one. Do not try to take everything on yourself. Let your village cooperate with you.

[12:16] Number six, learn to say no.

[12:20] If you have been looking for permission to say no to something, here you go. This is your permission. You do not have to be everywhere. You do not have to please everyone. And the truth is you wouldn’t be able to, even if you tried. So don’t. You can say no to invitations. You can decline to be at parties. You can make yourself less available.

[12:41] You get to draw your own boundaries and live within them. That’s true all the time. All the time. But especially right now. I actually will drop a link to 49 different ways to say no. Especially if you’re not comfortable with that. You know, no is a full sentence. People always want an explanation. They’re not entitled to one.

[12:58] No is a full sentence. But if that gives you anxiety, if that is not something that you are comfortable with, I’m gonna give you 49 different ways to say no. In fact, don’t be afraid to say it twice. That’s actually my favorite tip on the list. It’s wildly freeing. Just say no. I mean, you were taught this. You’re taught don’t, just say no to drugs. Right? Same thing.

[13:16] And finally, remember that this is temporary. I actually got an email yesterday from one of the services I used for social media and it there was a wellness tip at the bottom of their template. This is temporary. You have survived this and more before, so thank your previous self. Or something to that effect.

[13:35] And that’s really it. That’s really it. This is temporary. This month will pass. This day will end and tomorrow is a new start. January 1st will be a new start, and you know, I get it. There’s demanding bosses, there’s responsibilities, there’s days without rest. You know, some days run longer than others, just because things pile up. I get it. That’s reality. And that’s okay.

[13:58] Because even if you’ve done everything right, if you’re a buoy in the ocean, you’re just floating around. You’re doing everything right, everything you’re supposed to, and the waves get all crazy, like a storm’s coming in and they start crushing, you’re gonna go along for that ride.

[14:11] Like sometimes you’re just gotta go along for the ride. Even though you’ve done everything right, stuff still might happen in your environment. Your boundaries might get trampled. You might start to get burnt out. That is temporary. That is temporary. Even an impossibly bad day will come to an end. You’ve prevailed before.

[14:27] So what the point is, is to give yourself credit for getting this far. Look back on all the ways that you have overcome and how all of that has gotten you to here. Because that is proof that you will survive this too. And not just survive, but thrive. You’re growing. You are growing. And though it may not feel like it, because sometimes when you’re in the sauce, it’s hard to see the label on the bottle.

[14:49] It’s one of my favorite things I picked up from someone. It’s hard to see the label from inside the sauce. You will get out of the sauce eventually. You will. So take stock of what’s really happening. And assess if your brain is reacting to the story that you’re comfortable with, holidays are stressful or are you rolling along with the wave crashing? Are you able to really step outside of the sauce, look at the label and see what’s really going on? And that’s it.

[15:18] So I’d love your feedback on any of these. If they made sense or not. Stay hydrated and I’ll see you again soon, my friends. Bye bye.

[15:28] Clearly that was long before I established a signature sign off. And if you listen to any episode of The Maker Muse Podcast, you know this is where I go, that’s a burrito. But do you know why I say “that’s a burrito” over what I could say? If you think you know the answer, hit me up in my DMs on Instagram. The first person with the correct answer, you’re gonna get a little early Christmas present from The Maker Muse Podcast.

[15:55] Wanna talk about this week’s episode? Feel free to DM me on Instagram. My info is always in the show notes. And if you’re looking to be a guest in the future for the Maker Muse Podcast, check out the guest form on my website at themakermuse.co. Yes, themakermuse.co. It’s also linked in the show notes.

[16:13] And hey, muchisimas gracias for listening to another episode of the Maker Muse Podcast. Are you subscribed? If not now would be a great time to do that. New episodes come out every Tuesday. I’m on Apple, on Spotify, wherever you listen. And then can I ask you a favor? Could you please tell all of your friends and family about it? ¿Sus amigues, su familia? Because if you love it, they probably will too! And I’d really appreciate it if you could rate and review it wherever you’re listening right now. ¡Hasta la proxima!

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