Holiday Actions from Hijacks to More Happiness

Dr. Relly Nadler: Today, we’re going to talk about holiday actions that may happen from some of the hijacks that you have or some of the hurts around this holiday time. There is so much going on and the high expectations that we all have that you really need your emotional brilliance to be at your best.

So, we will go through what happens during these holiday times.

We are always focusing on giving you a few tips, a few tactics, a few things that you can do a little bit differently, and a little bit more so that you can be brilliant in the moment.

Cathy, welcome.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Thanks, Relly. I’d like to say hello to everybody who is listening today and just let you know that in today’s show we’re going to add some humor, we’re going to try to lighten up the moment around this idea of hijacks.

Many of us have been living in this tragic, mental experience that has been the pandemic and the result of that pandemic for almost a year now. With that in mind, Relly and I want to help you with some holiday actions to move from those hijacks that you’ve been feeling, those triggers that you’ve been, essentially, popping off to a much more relaxed, happy as much as we can be happy, but at least a more mellow and more satisfying holiday especially because we can’t be with many of our loved ones this year.

We are suffering a little bit from a lack of contact with those loved ones.

So, Relly, I’m going to let you do your magic and I’m just going to add some humor as much as possible. I guess we can start with the fact that both of us were raised as Jewish although I come from a mixed household, my mother converted to Judaism. It’s funny right, we had lots of Christmas trees and beautiful decorations regardless, but my father called it the Hanukkah Bush. And, we made everything blue and white, it was beautiful.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s beautiful.

I think we talked about this and I think we’ve grown up in a reformed Jewish family and it kind of tells about my mom. Early on, she just said this is such a great holiday, I don’t want my kids to miss this. For a while, we would light the candles for Hanukkah but almost every year it was really around Christmas, the anticipation, the tree then the presents, and all that. After a while, we stopped lighting the Hanukkah lights, but Christmas has always been really important.

In my family, my wife is very much into the Holidays, as is my daughter. We will be talking about the expectations of this special time that we have and the idea that it doesn’t always work out that way. Especially right now, The CDC says about 42% of us are feeling either anxiety or depression because of the covid consequences. So, then you add that to the emotions that we already have for such a special time, and then with covid, the loneliness the sadness, the boredom, the isolation, the irritability, when is this going to be over? Fortunately, now, we’ve got the vaccine coming but it could still be quite a while.

We also know the frequency of alcohol and drug use and you add all of these into this emotional cocktail this is when people really need to be brilliant and to use their emotional intelligence because, otherwise, we could feel empty, unfulfilled, and depressed.

We’ve been talking, Cathy, about this hijack, and the hijack, is when you are just not your best, your emotions take over, your emotional reactions take over and it’s like, oh, why did I say that, oh, why did I do that, oh, what am I thinking.

Well, what happens with the hijack temporarily you’re muting your IQ, you are just not as smart as you can be because of this flood of emotion, sometimes it’s called flooding, so, we’re just not thinking well.

We will talk, Cathy, about some of the main reasons for that as we get into it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, I’m going to tell you then one of the main reasons for me being triggered this time of year, unlike your family which obviously enjoyed the festival of lights and it became Christmas. In our family, we are so nuts that we do the eight days of Hanukkah, and then we do the pre-family Christmas with the members of the family we won’t see for Christmas, and then we do Christmas. We are broke by January of the new year. And then, you get triggered because it’s like hey I told you I was buying that gift for that person and you know I was going to buy that gift for that person so why did you go and buy that gift and give it to them during Hanukkah when you knew I was going to give it to them during Christmas.

Dr. Relly Nadler: You stole my thunder.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s a whole new world of how to argue around covid especially if you come from a loud family. The one thing I love about our ethnicity, if I could be so bold as to call it an ethnicity, is some of us came from the Ashkenazi Jewish background some of us came from the Sephardic one in the Middle East and one is Eastern European. So, some of us are very Middle Eastern in our loudness and then some of us are very European in our ability to use our emotional intelligence with a little more finesse. You’ll obviously be the finesse and I’ll obviously be the loud and out of control.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I think my family is more Eastern European on both sides so a little bit more staid and straight.

So, we’re going to be looking at this acronym of dire and then we will look at these holiday actions.

These dire results you may get from the Holidays: the first one or the D for the dire is decision fatigue. Cathy, just like you’re saying, how do we get the perfect gift and oh somebody else got this gift? And then, should I order it on Amazon, and is it going to get here in time, or do I go to the post office? Do I really want to stand in line with all of these people? For covid, that’s these micro-decisions that we have over and over that we really have decision fatigue. This idea of why people get angry at colleagues and families – we splurge on clothes; we buy junk foods at supermarkets. Roy Baumeister, who wrote the book on willpower, it is decision fatigue.

And basically, you are one of the examples, and we’ve seen this just trying to make the decision on trying to get the perfect gift, what size, what color; think of all that. When we’re in the grocery stores and you think about now just shopping you want to get in and out quickly, you have this impulse buy. The impulse buy is: oh, I’m just going to get it and what’s basically at the counter, all those peppermint patties, and the MM’s and all those impulse buys and the folks who put them there because they know we’ve got such decision fatigue. Or it may be on Amazon, if you like this maybe you want that and because we are so tired, the will power gets drained from all these decisions that we have impulse buys.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, you know, that’s because the children that are with us are the ones that perpetuate those impulse buys.

I just want to share this little funny bit of humor as we go through the dire, the D.I.R.E.

We have a prayer in our family, it’s called buy me, take me, bring me, I need, I want, I have to have, I cannot live without. This might be inflated expectations that go along with decision fatigue. That is just a formula for what we all know as a trigger.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s funny – buy me, take me, bring me.

One of the things that we did in our family, our kids now are 23 and 27 but just the distinction because, of course, they want to buy me and that’s impulse control. So, what I would say to them is the distinction between a looking day and a buying day. Nope, nope, this is just a looking day. We are not getting anything so it’s just kind of that impulse control; oh, this is only looking day.

Listen to the entire interview above by clicking on the play button.

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