December. What a month! The weather changes, the streets are filled with Christmas decor and lights, coffee shops + bakeries are filled with peppermint, gingerbread, and festive flavors. Ah! Can you smell it? Do you feel the festive cheer?
Or maybe this time of year all you see is greed and "I want" and over processed sugary drinks. The holidays are usually a mix of both and for most of us, it can get a little tiring. I know for one that as Christmas gets closer my excitement grows but I start reaching for another cup of coffee and more cookies and anything that would give me an extra boost to wrap some more presents or go to one more party, or even just stay awake past 8pm!
For some, the holidays are just another reminder of the friends and family that they might not have close by or remind them of a lost one or just cause pain in general, or maybe even anxiety. In all these cases, it's important to prepare for the holidays emotional, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
So, let's talk. You've made a list, checked it twice, you know what needs to get done by the end of each day. Yikes! There's a lot of stuff to do. I know that for me, when I make a list I feel a little more organized and prepared but there are some lists that just knock the wind right out of me! Especially around the holidays; and isn't this supposed to be a time of cheer and peace? It doesn't often look that way when we're constantly on the move. We've got to prepare ourselves to thrive, to rest, and to enjoy the season!
The human heart is a wild thing. We are filled with desires and emotions and sometimes we over-exert ourselves and turn into down right grinches! Here are some good reminders and helpful tips to take care of yourself during the holiday season + to be the best you can be.
I know that finding alone time can be difficult, especially if you have a bog family, or a friend staying over from out of town, or a million errands to run on top of your full time job. Trust me though, alone time (at least once a week) can do wonders for your mental health! Take a bath and relax. Go for a walk. Get up half an hour early to read, pray, stretch, paint, whatever it is you like to do to be at peace. Maybe when you're out running errands, you listen to calming music or you take the long way home so you have 10 extra minutes of quiet. Give yourself that gift!
That is probably one of the easiest, yet most rewarding things you could do. Log in to your email and unsubscribe from all of those ads and promotional emails that clutter your inbox during the holiday season. It will take away one more thing that is striving for your attention and it will help control impulse buying! Your email, wallet, and brain will thank you.
Call A Relative.
We all get busy. We all forget that a cell phone can be used for more than texting and Instagram. Call your mom or grandparents or your aunt that you haven't talked to in a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Let them know that you're thinking of them and that you can't wait to see them at Christmas! Ask how they're doing. When you start to think about others and take a break from thinking about what you need to get done, you get a few moments where you can breathe deeply and feel good knowing that you were able to connect with a loved one.
tudies show that people who hit the snooze button multiple times often feel more tired than those who don't. Set your alarm for when you need to wake up on the weekends and let yourself sleep until that alarm goes off, instead of setting 3 or 4 alarms. Your body will thank you throughout the day when you don't need a fourth cup of coffee to get things done. In addition, there is no shame in taking a power nap or even getting into bed before 10pm! Do what is best for you. At times I find myself feeling tired around 9pm and I think to myself, "I'm an adult. I should at least be able to make it to 10:30!" and then I don't end up getting into bed until midnight. It's a horrible cycle that leaves me exhausted during this busy time of year. Not to mention, if you're not getting enough sleep you'll be more prone to getting sick because your immune system is weakened.
Go for a walk. Hit the gym. Eat your fruits and vegetables! Staying healthy and saying no to all those cookies and sweet treats will keep you energized to get your to-do list done. There is no shame in passing on the gravy or a second piece of pie. Get some more carrots or salad on your plate at the next holiday party. Drink water instead of soda. You'll go to bed happy and healthy!
You might not have the time to take a 45 minute bubble bath or go for a jog each morning, but your atmosphere and home environment can definitely play a huge role in your mood and productivity. Light a candle. Play some uplifting music. Turn the tv off! (It's also totally okay to leave the Christmas tree lit all day long. It gives an extra ounce of Christmas cheer to your day!) Maybe you should even take a little break from being at home? Head to a coffee shop, bookstore, or cafe to get a little online shopping or work done. Get out of the house and experience something new to get yourself in a creative and productive mood!
Set your own pace and say 'good afternoon' to the people you pass on the street. Be positive and start your day with prayer and encouragement. The little things begin to add up, so make sure those little things are positive! Do what you can to get yourself through the business of the season and thrive during the holidays!