The busy holiday season is upon us and for many this can bring unwanted stress and anxiety. While you are rushing off to get holiday shopping done and get food prepped to spend time with the family, it's easy to forget that this time of year should be enjoyable and filled with fun. Although the season often brings an array of demands, there are a few practical tips you can do to minimize stress and allow for a little more holiday cheer.
With the calendar of events and the rushing around, it's easy for us to forget about ourselves; diets are out the window, sleep is cut short, and burnout is upon us. The good new is, that can be turned around by giving to yourself before you give to others. Now, that doesn't mean monetary gifts; it means taking care of yourself both mentally and physically before you take care of anyone else. So, protect your space; allow yourself to disconnect when you feel burnt out or stressed and do things that make you happy (outside of taking care of other people).
During the holidays the first thing to go is usually your 'diet' or eating habits; I think we're all guilty of this, including myself. As you move throughout the endless amounts of food, try not to overeat, you'll be much happier and feel better the next day. Maintain small portions of your favorite foods and eat slowly so your body can digest fully, and in-between meals eat fruits and vegetables and avoid endless amounts of sugar. I know, I know, this sounds almost impossible when we wait an entire year to indulge in holiday cooking, but trust me, you'll thank yourself the days after and your body won't go into shock mood from endless eating.
Dress for the Occasion
Since we're generally at our families house, many of us opt for a dress down or casual look; try to avoid this. Dressing for the occasion will not only have you feeling better about yourself, you will avoid the aforementioned overeating. Also, this can be an act of self-care.
Plan ahead to stick to your budget
I'm a big proponent of planning ahead, and I believe this can carry over into your holiday planning. Whether it be shopping for gifts or prepping for holiday dinner, prepping ahead is key. Not only will this save you time, but it will save you money. In both cases, write a list of what you need to buy, for who, and from where, prep dinner hours before it's scheduled time, and wrap gifts days weeks before the holiday; this will keep you on time, stress-free, and on budget.
During the holidays you will be on the run, so yes you will be active, but it's important that you set time aside to prioritize your workouts. Try to do them early in the morning, so you get them out of the way. Abandoning your activity and workout routine will have you feeling sluggish while staying on top of your routine will have you feeling less stressed and more energized.
Know when to say no
This is the time of year when you will be getting invited to gathering after gathering, and while some may be unavoidable, it's okay to say no to the others. If you can't say no, keep the gatherings small and intimate. Convene with your closest friends and family and keep the larger parties for another time in the year. Also, keep your budget in mind when doing this; staying on track with your budget is more important than attending every party or giving everyone a gift.
The holidays should be fun, so just enjoy yourself. With balance and moderation, you can experience the holidays in a stress-free healthy way.