Head into the Holidays with a Plan and your Sanity will thank you
Before going bonkers and saying yes to every invitation for Christmas parties, caroling sessions, walk-a-thons, Hanukkah celebrations, play dates, and booking up every nook and cranny of your holiday, take time to decide what you want your holiday season to look like. I know, *gasp* right? Making this season about you (and your immediate family) is so selfish. Not so! If you have a plan in place, it will be easier to graciously turn down the events or activities that don’t fit into it. Don’t go in blind, people!
Here are some things you should consider when making your ho-ho-holiday “stay sane plan”:
Commit to not Over Committing
You are allowed to say no. Get this–even to family. If you are saying yes to everything and everyone when you really want to say no, resentment will grow, and honestly, you’re not fooling anyone. Get really clear on the difference between desire and obligation. Yes, of course, sometimes we are going to have to do things we really don’t want to do, but that should be the exception, not the rule. If your extended family is a stress trigger for you, limit your time with them. Practice saying no and letting go of the guilt surrounding it. If you are saying yes to the events that you genuinely want to be at, the authenticity of that decision will be palpable. Quality over quantity. You will get more out of this holiday season.
Schedule in Exercise
It’s easy to get so busy during the holidays that we forget to take time to take care of ourselves. Schedule in some time to get outside; take a walk, go for a jog, hit a yoga class, whatever it is you enjoy that gets your muscles activated and your heart beating a little faster. Exercise is shown to reduce your levels of stress hormones AND stimulate your feel good hormones. It’s a win/win.
Take Time for Yourself
If you tend to feel like you’re being pulled in twenty different directions during the holidays, be intentional about pulling yourself out of the chaos. Breath deep. Everything will not fall apart if you excuse yourself to have a nice long soak with a glass of wine. Set a new standard with your family, that everyone, including you, gets to enjoy the season of joy.
Be Conscious About Staying Present
My suggestion is to take a minute at the beginning of your day to set an intention of being in the moment throughout the day. It’s so easy to think ten steps ahead and start stressing out about everything you still need to get done, the grocery shopping, gift shopping, tree decorating, present wrapping, meal preparation. Being in the moment automatically pushes those worries out of your head. Whenever you find yourself freaking out about all that’s left to do, take a breath, look around and give thanks. The holidays aren’t about all the ‘stuff’, they are about family, love, connection, and gratitude. Remember that in moments of stress.
Schedule Gift Shopping
I don’t know about your town, but the mall and anywhere near the mall in Boise during the weeks leading up to Christmas, is an effing NIGHTMARE. Save yourself the anxiety and road rage. Take a morning off of work and go early before the swarms come. Better yet, shop online!
Keep a Bottle of Jameson in Your Purse at All Times
Am I right? Probably not. I just thought this was funny.
Make the Decision to Enjoy Yourself!
Laugh, play games you enjoy, eat the foods you like, hang with people you love. Commit to having a good time! You can do it! You should do it! Happy Holidays!!
Do you have any other stay sane suggestions? Let us know! Please.