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How To Prevent The Dreaded Holiday Dysfunction

Written by: Dr. Dunni Atalabi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Are you dreading the holidays mums? Do you sometimes wish you could close your eyes and open it after the hassle of the holidays are past? You are not alone. So many mums have resigned to take the happy, merry and jolly out of the Christmas season.

Let us talk about those awesome times which we perhaps worry about the holidays. Holidays are the best times for some, and the worst time for others. It is a time when you connect with your family and friends. You send and receive gifts too. It is a time where there is lots of cheer and joy. But it is also a time when people remember their loved ones who are no longer with them.

As mothers, work tirelessly to make sure everything runs smoothly, holiday time is another moment when you as a mother become Cinderella. You have everyone asking you to do one thing or the other, perhaps prepare a meal that nobody has ever had, or get gifts that no one has ever got.

Hence, becoming drained, overwhelmed, and exhausted seems to be a yearly occurrence. This can lead to dysfunction and ill-health.

Apart from the unrealistic expectations placed by others and ourselves and the memories that sometimes haunt us, we can shift our focus to look at the factors we have influence over. Such as the roles we play and learning to relinquish control.

Here are some very simple strategies and tactics that we can use to prevent feeling the overwhelm that comes with the holiday season. You can start implementing them now. These tactics are however not restricted to the holidays. You can implement them every single day.

This A to F method will serve as a wonderful resource for your wellbeing toolkit.

A- Adjust your attitude. Attitude is everything.

When you look at a particular scenario or situation in your life, and you are not pleased with it, you have a choice to accept it. You also have a choice to let it go and even have a choice to ignore it. Remember the choice is entirely yours.

When facing something you don't want, you could feel resentment, anger, perhaps even fear. These emotions are vibrations at lower levels. At lower vibration levels, your energy gets depleted.

This low energy level might affect the excitement your children feel at this time. This makes matters worse because you then experience another low-level emotion – mum guilt. I have experienced that myself. The mental and emotional distress that brings is great.

When you adjust your attitude, you see things differently. I remember the quote by Wayne Dyer. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.' Such a powerful quote. One way to change your attitude is to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Ask yourself the question, what is one thing I can be grateful for in this situation?

And when you find yourself in that moment of gratitude, there is no overwhelming task, requests, irritating behaviours that you cannot adjust to. Because you are thankful in the moment, you do not hold on to those negative emotions. You start vibrating at a higher level and your energy level rises too.

B- Being mindful of your sacred space.

We as mothers are used to giving and doing. We sometimes forget to be. We don't seem to realise that we need to take a moment to be in our sacred space.

There were times when my beautiful children would ask for something and I would find myself flapping around to get it done, not holding space for myself.

Then on a fateful day, I made a decision to be more aware of what I needed in the moment and that was rest. I communicated this to my children and took a moment to be in my sacred space. When I got up, I had a huge surprise waiting for me.

My beautiful children had put together my breakfast in a tray and my son had carried it up to me in bed. I was full of joy. I guess I would never know if my choice to be mindful of my sacred space taught them to act in such a way.

Your sacred space could be a physical, emotional or mental space. Communication is key. Tell those around you what you need. You would be surprised that they would survive those few moments you need for yourself. So be mindful of your sacred space, create some time for you to just chill.

For those things you do not want to expose yourself to, move away from them. You can surround yourself with people who are vibrating at a higher emotional level.

Another way is to be mindful of your mental space. What are the things you are filling your mind with? They could be things like books, television programmes, the news or probably social media. What you feed your mind with stays and grows into thoughts. Those are the thoughts that become emotions, and then actions.

C- Control.

There are some of us mothers who feel better when everything is under control. We would like to know everything from the beginning to the end. We control the space in which we are and sometimes we even think about controlling the outcome. But like we all know, you really can't control the outcome.

There are a few things that are within your sphere of control or influence. I remember reading the book by Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In that book, there was a small circle that was just around you called your CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE.

And that circle of influence is where you have control. And there is the other circle, which is the CIRCLE OF CONCERN. These are the things that you probably are worried about but have no control over. This, unfortunately, is the bigger circle for most mothers. You don't have any control over it but you worry. And guess what, when you're worried your emotional vibrations are low, you are affecting your well being from that point.

So allow yourself to release that control. Release that impulse within you to manage every single thing. micromanage everyone, and try to control the outcome. Enjoy the moments, let things come as they come. express gratitude as you do that. When you let go of control, it does a lot of good for you.

D- Don't drink too much.

The holidays are a time to be jolly and sometimes there might be a trigger to self medicate with alcohol. However, I would suggest Don't drink too much. Why? Because when you drink more alcohol, and it is more than you can hold, or more than the recommended medical level of alcohol intake, a few things can happen.

First of all, alcohol has a special way of reducing your inhibitions. And in those moments when you have taken excess alcohol, your behaviour, the things you say, the things you do and how you react or behave might be quite different from how you would do if you were sober or if you had all your faculties intact.

If you drink more than the medically recommended levels of alcohol intake, that has its own problems as well, because of the impact of alcohol on your liver. Don't drink too much even during this holiday season.

E- Expectation management.

Manage your expectations. Remember expectations are the sure way to overwhelm. These are the expectations you have for yourself and for others.

Sometimes the expectations placed on yourself are sometimes draconian and they need to be re-evaluated. You also need to be aware of the expectations that others have on you and learn to detach yourself from those that wear you down.

The key is to demonstrate compassion for yourself and others.

F- Focus on your well being.

This is the holiday season and your wellbeing of body, mind, soul and spirit is so important. Take the time to be present to your needs and take steps to care for you.

I look forward to hearing about how this has resonated with you and served as a resource for you.

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and visit my website for more information!


Dr. Dunni Atalabi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. ‘Dunni is a life & wellbeing coach, family doctor, international speaker, teacher, author, entrepreneur, and mum who empowers mums to eliminate the feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion by tapping into the super powers within while enhancing overall wellbeing so that they can live the life of calm and abundance they desire and deserve. This became her mission following the death of her father, her journey through grief, and her desire to promote wellbeing even when grieving.

She is passionate about mums not only because they deserve holistic wellbeing because of the myriad of roles they perform but because they are beacons showing their children and people around them how to enhance their overall wellbeing in mind, body, soul, and spirit.

She is proficient in using natural, scientific, and medical wellbeing concepts to explain in simple terms practical ways and strategies to avoid ill health and promote overall wellbeing. This is made available by provision of online courses, written content, books, coaching, and regular events such as challenges where practical self-care and wellbeing strategies and tactics are shared to enhance holistic wellbeing on a daily basis.



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