It’s that time of year: family visits, twinkling lights, coffee & cocoa, and all sorts of schedule disruptions.
I’ve been feeling a little scrooge-y this holiday season, as you may have guessed by my absence recently. Trying to wrap up (heh, Christmas pun) the year, figure out presents (since for the first time ever, we won’t be present) and keep a regular daily work schedule has worn me out.
For anyone else out there who’s trying to keep it simple and finding it difficult: I am too. Trying to fight the commercial holiday stress brings its own stresses.
So, today’s post is as much for me as it is for you.
Keeping the holidays merry and bright
These can be applied year-round, but are always my must-haves in times of stress. Here is what I’m going to be focusing on this next month, since I’ve overlooked these for the past few weeks.
Eliminate the nonessential
Are there things you think you need to do, but that you really don’t want to do? Consider each commitment carefully and respect your time enough to say no when you feel that’s the best option.
Going with the flow can turn into getting carried away in the current, and Christmas isn’t about trying to avoid rapids and sharp rocks. Keep the holidays on your terms.
Eat, drink and be healthy
Hangovers in college were terrible. Hangovers after college are the worst – every emotion comes flooding out and piles on top of an unproductive day. Add in the holidays and…well, it’s not pretty.
If this applies to you, find the least emotionally-wrecking booze for you and drink moderately. Me + wine = sadness, so I try to steer clear of it.
But this doesn’t just apply to alcohol – eat your veggies any chance you get. I toss back a veggie-heavy smoothie or two every day to make sure I get my greens.
Progress, not perfection
This is something I see shared around the fitness community, and I find it powerfully relevant in all aspects of life. Especially as this year comes to an end.
A dear friend of mine understands the workings of my mind, and advised me to take a moment and write down all the things I have accomplished or improved upon this year. If you try this too, be generous with yourself and note that any progress is positive.
This helps me put 2015 into perspective and encourages a positive attitude for the start of 2016.
And a note on perfection: don’t let the stress of creating a perfect holiday or finding the perfect gift ruin your time with family and friends.
Kindness is key
Being kind to others goes without saying, but especially remember to be kind to yourself.
Be patient with yourself when you stray from the path you wanted to follow. Be kind to yourself so you can flourish. Allow yourself a few moments of solitude, or extra minutes of sleeping in, or skip a chore and go for a walk instead.
Or, if you’re in an area that has Stumptown Coffee, grab a little Winter Cheer. You won’t regret it.
So take a moment to check in on yourself: how are you doing?
If you’re struggling, pay attention to where the balance has shifted. What can you do to restore your joy this holiday season?