Now that we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, let’s talk Holidays! While the holiday season is often a joyful time of the year, it can also be a time of competing demands and overwhelming to-do lists. Between shopping, entertaining, traveling and wrapping up work for the year, it’s no wonder we’re tempted to fuel our feelings with food, late nights and limited trips to the gym.
But not all is lost. In fact, we are just getting started! As we head into a brand new month, we’ve put together some simple steps to keep you feeling your best as you ring in the most wonderful time of the year!
Be realistic – Now, more than ever, push yourself to let go of perfectionism. Be flexible and open to changing plans. While traditions remain an important cornerstone to the Holidays, sometimes it’s necessary to modify expectations for yourself and others in order to reduce/avoid conflict.
Stick to a budget – Before you start shopping for your Secret Santa, significant other, friends and/or family, decide how much money you feel comfortable spending and stick to your budget. If money is tight this year, try making a homemade gift, or offer to make dinner for someone who could really use a break. Often times, your presence really is present enough.
Learn to say “No” – Invites to last minute holiday parties, opening your house to friends and family every weekend, gift exchanges with ALL of your co-workers… As selfish as it sounds, sometimes you just have to say “No” and give yourself the space you deserve to think, rest and take a break from it all.
Get moving – Nothing makes you feel better after an overindulgent holiday meal than getting your body off the couch and out into the world. It can be as simple as a taking a walk around the neighborhood to see the holiday lights!
Practice gratitude – When things get stressful and you find limited time between a hectic schedule to just breathe, take a moment to count your blessings and focus on how much you’re grateful for.
Give back to your local community – There are plenty of people who would love to be in your shoes this holiday season. Consider making a charitable donation to children and families in need. Give the gift of time to those who might be experiencing loneliness at an elderly home, or help cook at a nearby homeless shelter.
Don’t skimp on sleep – Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, especially after a busy day. Sleep not only makes you feel and look better, it also improves memory, allows you to handle stress more effectively and benefits your mind and body.
Be present – It’s hard to enjoy the present moment when you’re running from here to there, taking care of this and that, but try your hardest to take five extra minutes a day to do some deep breathing and take in the exact moment around you. It’s often the littlest moments in life that later mark the best memories.