The Holiday Season would ideally be a time of joy, laughter, pretty lights and quality time with friends and family. It seems every year things get busier and more stressful for all parties involved. There are a few things to keep in mind as the Holiday Season approaches and when you are planning out your to do lists and gift buying errands.
Breathe. It sounds simple but really do some deep breathing, the kind from your belly. Utilize that diaphragm and energize the body through breathe. It will do wonders as you are driving in busy traffic, waiting in line to make a purchase or just throughout your work day. Set yourself a reminder if you are someone who isn’t great at breathing deeply.
Say “NO.” It’s okay to say no if you don’t have time to do something. We all get full schedules and want to do everything for everyone. It’s critical to take time for yourself and the only way to do that may be to say no at some point to less important things.
Batch Your Errands. If you have shopping or errand running to do, get strategic. Save money on gas, save time by thinking about when the best time to be at these places may be. If this means eating your lunch just a little bit more quickly than usual to get out the door on your lunch break to hit up the post office that you know will be slammed after work, go for it. Think about your route. Aim to make a loop while running errands instead of zig zagging all over town and back. If there is a store that you could go to instead of your favorite store but you can still get the same product and it is closer to everything else, do it.
Be Realistic. Things don’t have to be perfect. Get your basic decorating done, get your gifts wrapped and if there is time left over make special touches that you want on things that are important to you. If it doesn’t get done, then no one will notice except for you.
Smile. People get so busy running around and reading their lists, looking at their phones and so buried with what they are focused on we don’t take the time to smile and share kindness towards one another. Try to do your best. A great place to practice would be in line at the store when you are patiently waiting your turn to purchase. Make small talk with people in line that is pleasant, don’t get caught up in complaining about how slow the line is moving, that doesn’t help anyone.
Exercise. It’s important to keep the body happy and moving freely during all seasons of life. Especially when stressful ones come about it is just as important as low stress seasons because it will help decrease the amount of cortisol in your body (the stress hormone) if you are able to just get on a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long duration of movement but just getting out and doing something is awesome and your body will thank you!
Prioritize. What is most urgent and important to get done? Ask yourself this every morning when making your to do lists. Try to get your biggest project, errand, task complete by 11am in the morning. This way it will free up your day for the more unexpected things that come up and you will knock a few important tasks of the list quickly.
Sleep. DO NOT COMPROMISE SLEEP. It is critical to get your sleep to have the energy to function each day. It will be a time for your body to repair and replenish and restore itself back to a centered place to kick booty the next day. If you don’t get a full 8 hours of sleep each night, try to cut back on the sugary and caffeinated foods throughout the day. This will wear the body down and increase the internal stress in the body. Aim to eat healthy, quality proteins and fats and vegetables to keep your body running efficiently and on the proper fuel that it needs to get through the day. Then aim for that 8-9 hours of sleep!
Try to enjoy your time with your friends and family. Breathe, stay present and be thankful for the moments you have on this beautiful Earth. Happy Holidays!