The holidays are among us – a time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to quite the load of stress. After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones. All of this, on top of your normal every day life. It can be overwhelming to say the least.
I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to survive this busy, stressful time of year and make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful and a time you will remember with fond memories.
These survival tips of mine include…
Put forth great effort to be present.
It can be difficult, I get that. It’s almost a reflex to pick up our phones and scroll through Facebook or our email when we have a free moment – do you do the same? One way I like to dodge this is to leave my electronics in another room.
Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones. When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses. What do I smell? What do I hear? What do I feel?
The key here is to focus on something positive and just one thing at a time 🙂 The smell fresh pines, the sound of music, the crisp air……
Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else. It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and is a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays!
Give up those expectations.
A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect. That’d be lovely, of course – but putting your entire extended family in one house is bound to have something go awry.
Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something may spring up. There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can. Tis the season!
Find time to move.
My non-negotiable favorite! It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy or tired you may feel.
Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to bundle up in your favorite scarf and winter coat to go for a walk alone to clear your mind, or with someone you enjoy being around.
Be sure that you are getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.
What are your favorite ways to get some movement in during the cold months? My favorite is hiking with my dogs. Each and every walk comes with its own surprises. I love not knowing which forest animals I will get to see that day!
Take care of your body and practice self care.
By this I mean paying extra attention to making sure you are staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and balancing all of those treats with enough foods rich in antioxidants.
This also means taking some time for just YOU! Even just 15 minutes a couple times a day can make a big difference to the stress you feel. Some ideas are to go for a short walk, sit down with a cup of tea, phone a friend who will “lift you up” or treat yourself to a massage or pedicure.
I like to fill up my water bottles in the morning so I know how much I have to finish them for the day, and I try to stick with a regular bedtime and waking time as much as possible- even on the weekends. Making a big pot of vegetable soup and adding berries and greens to a smoothie are simple ways to get your greens and keep your immune system strong!
It may sound simple but these small steps can make a huge difference in how you feel and handle the stress the holidays can bring.
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If you have any questions please ask!
Happy Holidays everyone!