Holiday Season: The Joy And Sophistication Of Moderation
Lures to the consumerism trap and how to avoid them through mindful moderation.
Most of us will fall in one of two traps the next holiday season: consumerism or asceticism. The first group will eat, drink and spend like there is no tomorrow. The second group will rigorously oppose the popular trend and either by conscious choice of minimalism or due to extremely disadvantaged social position will skip the Cornucopia illusion. The chance is that the majority of both groups will end up equally unhappy about how they spent yet another holiday season.
Every January many get on the New-Year-Resolutions train, hoping for a radical change.
How can we avoid the traps? By mindful moderation. The answer is simple, yet easier said than done. Here are five lures to the consumerism trap that mindful moderation can help us to avoid.
Buying food for the holidays seems like preparing for a natural disaster that would cut our way to the store for the next couple of months. Most friends and family gatherings at that time — table after table, plate after plate — end up with: “I am so full I can hardly breathe.” Being conscious about how much and what we put in our mouth is one way to avoid that. What can we do? Tell in advance the close ones that this season you opt for moderation and you will save them time, effort and money in shopping, cooking and preparation. And leave plenty of free space in your own shopping cart.
One can hardly find real-life pictures of holiday festivities without people raising glasses of alcohol and cheering at each other. A glass soon turns into two, one drink is mixed with another. I leave the results to your imagination. What can we do? Don’t drink or drink in moderation — one glass is enough for the “cheers”. Certainly don’t drink and drive. And recall that one can also drink… water.
Entering a shopping centre in December is like signing a blank check. The line between wants and needs becomes blurred and thousands of special offers add to that feeling. What can we do? There is absolutely nothing wrong with awarding yourself with a gift or buying one for someone else. But first, shopping does not need to be only for stuff. New training course, an exciting experience, a good book are also possible options. And second, ask yourself "Would I buy the same thing at that same price if it was mid-January?" and enjoy the sobering effect. If the answer is yes, by all means, go ahead and buy.
TV and social media
There is a reason why you will not find on social media pictures of people watching TV or scrolling social media as a symbol of “look what an amazing holiday I have”. This enough should ring a bell that a Christmas movie or two is probably enough. The battle for the remote control is often resolved by the number of TVs equal to the number of household members. This is not a good way to spend a holiday. Neither is watching other people’s holiday pictures on Facebook and Instagram. What can we do? Plan in advance to spend the time with your close ones, not with the TV. There is plenty of fun (and free) experiences like making a snowman, walk in the park, baking a cake…
If there is one thing missing most in December it is exercise. There is just too much to do at work, too many events and parties to go to. If you have been to the gym on any January 2, you know what I am talking about. It is as if exercise has just been made obligatory by law and everyone starts practising it to avoid heavy penalty for non-compliance with the regulation. What can we do? It is very likely that you will promise yourself to be more active and healthy next year. So why don’t you start moderately already in December. A few exercises here and there, 10–20 minutes every other day. Here are a few suggestions. Nothing excessive, just a head start to the healthier and improved You.
Wait, you too have heard all of the above before? So why not do it this time for a change.