Monday Motivation: Holiday Survival Tips

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on December 23, 2019

Monday Motivation here we come! We see you – coffee cup in hand, trudging through the dark cursing your commute. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! If you’re more of a podcast person versus someone who reads, listen to our Monday Matters content on Spotify. Check out our Grit Daily podcast channel.

This column is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings. If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Monday Motivation quick tips. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. And nobody wants to go through their day like an unmotivated, unproductive sourpuss, right? Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday Motivation!

Getting into the spirit


When I was married to an abusive POS, he did everything that he could to stop Christmas from coming. No tree because “the needles are so messy.” No traveling to see my family. Go shopping together on Xmas Eve because he “had” to buy me a gift so I’d pick something out and then we’d go up to the cashier together. I’d take out my credit card (he didn’t work for most of our marriage), pay for it, and he’d hand me the bag, “Merry Christmas.” It sucked for a lot of years but, it’s wonderful again!

Indeed, it’s time to trim the tree and deck the halls, embrace (or shun) the endless clanging of the Salvation Army bell and obsess over gift ideas – then end up purchasing an Amazon gift card anyway. Maybe you’re already elbow-deep in flour in the kitchen, baking all kinds of Christmas cookies for your holiday exchange. To get it all done in time, you’ll no doubt be referring to the tips presented in a Monday motivation column from earlier this year about getting organized.

‘tis the season

Perhaps you’re busy planning your holiday dinner menu, adding festive throw pillows to your couches and gearing up to host a zillion more people than you normally do. Then there’s that diet thing. How are you ever going to protect your kidneys from all that booze and stretch your stomach out far enough to eat all that holiday food? Not to mention the much-dreaded small talk and family debates about Trump which will likely end in fisticuffs. Ugh!

Or maybe you’re alone. Out of work. Out of cash. And wish that you had a holiday to look forward to.

I know a lot of people but I do not know anyone who experiences a Hallmark holiday. For most of the people that I know, it’s probably somewhere between a Griswold Family Experience and the satirical lyrics by Lana del Rey on her sixth studio album, Norman F*cking Rockwell. And, for a handful of us, it’s all in what we make it.

Have we lost the plot?

Over 70% of Americans feel the holiday season is stressful and wrought with anxiety. Google searches on “how to survive the holidays” spike at this time of year. So does self-indulgent behavior like retail therapy, alcohol, and drug consumption, all designed to numb how you feel and avoid what’s really going on. Don’t numb yourself – set realistic expectations and recognize that the holidays will be over before you know it. Or, take a Monday motivation attitude and look for a bright spot and hold onto it!

I maintain that we, as a society, have lost the plot every time that I read the news and learn about a terrorist attack, school shooting, senseless murder, animal cruelty or death by suicide. But we’ll unpack this theory another time. Today, our Monday motivation column is focused on the spirit of the season and what it really means.

That’s what this week’s Monday motivation is all about. Embracing what we have: there is always some glimmer of goodness even for those suffering right now. And if those people struggling can’t see the glimmer, help them see it. Better yet, do something to give them a glimmer.

Find goodness if every day

Traveling up into the Great White North for me isn’t easy, so I no longer go back to the homeland on Christmas. The flights are triple what they normally cost, there is only one flight per day and it’s often canceled due to inclement weather, so the journey is far from easy and involves a lot of time in airport lounges sitting on the floor because all the seats are already filled with other weary travelers. Being apart from my family is always tough around the holidays but I’m lucky: I have been adopted into a new family through my significant other so there is much joy around Christmas.

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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