Do the holidays have you stressed out? So much to do and no time to do it all on top of your normally hectic schedules I hear ya! How did life get so complicated from when we were kids?
From October through January, time seems to be something we all want more of, a lot more of. On top of our busy days and tiring nights, we add in decorating for three major holidays, volunteering, parties, shopping and wrapping gifts. We often eat things not on our normal clean living plates and we give up our exercise because we put everyone else first. That just makes us a bit more cranky. Don’t get frustrated and defeated. Here are some ways to make sure you get to enjoy the season; guaranteed you will be happier in the end.
Moderation – Don’t neglect yourself of your favorite holiday goodies. You will eventually cave and go off the deep end. Enjoy a small slice of your favorite pie, have a small cookie or a cocktail. Just don’t go for seconds. 80% is what you do in “the kitchen”. So, it’s not necessary to double up on your workouts on a daily basis to eliminate the guilt. That would be enough for anyone to give up a healthy lifestyle. If you do want to work out harder, consider doing some HIIT routines. Keeping up on your daily workout routine is a GREAT stress reliever!
Don’t Spread Yourself Thin – Make sure you are only attending celebrations that mean the most to you. Learn to say “No”. These holidays are annual, so next year you can pick something different if your heart desires. If a teacher asks you to come into your child’s classroom for a party or to help make gingerbread houses, maybe you offer to send in the graham crackers or frosting instead of spending two hours in the class you need for something else, like helping Santa check some gifts off his list. Speaking of gifts…
Give Gifts that Keep Giving – Don’t spend hours roaming the malls or surfing the internet trying to find the perfect gift for each person on your list. You can use that time to check a few other things off your list by donating in their name to support their favorite cause. It supports the true meaning of the season and will be appreciated by those receiving the donation. Giving back is good for the soul. It makes you happy which in turn is positive health.
Simplify Celebrations – If you insist on hosting your family gatherings, why not make it pot-luck? It will take a ton of pressure off you to make it perfect. It also allows others to feel like they are contributing. Do a gift exchange where everyone picks one name and buy for that person only. It saves time and money. This way you can buy one really nice gift instead of ten cheap gifts that get re-gifted in next year’s white elephant exchange. Limit the decorations. More is not always better. Remember what you put out needs to be pulled down and packed up to put away. Make it look festive, but don’t go crazy with the tinsel.
Flexibility – Make sure to add in extra time when you travel. There is always bound to be more traffic or an accident when you are running behind. Don’t schedule every last minute of every day. Limit your activities to two per week so you can have the flexibility to change things around for last minute invites you really might want to attend. Make a list, record things on your calendar (maybe it’s electronic and shareable with the rest of the family so it keeps them organized too).
Boost Immunity – Tis the season for colds and flu. Increase your water intake and eat more veggies. Reach for these at the pot-luck instead of the chips and dip. Get your sleep. Your body needs the rest to recharge. Wash your hands a lot! It is the easiest yet most under utilized way to get rid of germs.
If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a few deep breaths. Slow down and refocus. Ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary or just a nicety. Refer to this list and gain your control back. These are really easy to do once you start to do them. Common sense, but give yourself the permission to enact them. Don’t get caught up with the Joneses. Do what is best for YOU!