The holiday season is here, whether we are ready or not. Some of us may have our shopping done and others may still be putting away the Halloween decorations. One thing we all have in common, is that no matter how joyous this time of year is, there's also a lot of potential to reach the overwhelm.
The overwhelm can come out of nowhere. The parties- the events- the school functions- the shopping- the lists- the baking- the decorating- the wrapping- the elf (enough said). While it feels like we should be doing all the things- it's impossible to do all the things, care for our families and care for ourselves well. Somethings got to give. And if it's you that has to give- then there's not going to be much joy in the holiday season.
How do we remain sane? The following ideas may not be a perfect recipe for success- but they can help.
1) Start by making a WHAT'S IMPORTANT LIST- Family? Church? Friends? Before the season starts- take a second to remember what's most important to you. Remember this list as we will be revisiting it in steps to come.
2) YOUR KIDS- YOUR SCHEDULE- here's the deal. No one knows your kids like you do. Some kids can handle schedule changes and late nights. Some can't. You know. There may be some family function that everyone wants your kids to be at, but you know that if you get them off their schedule, even for a couple hours, YOU are going to be the one to pay. Keeping my kids up late only means they are going to wake up earlier! No thanks.
3) Along the lines of #2- IT'S OK TO SAY NO!- You 100% do not need to do all the things. Say no. How do you know what to say no to? Where does the event fall on your importance list- if it's not high up- then maybe someone else can cover it or attend. Maybe there's somewhere else you need to be. Maybe you just need to be at home. The world will keep turning if you don't make every event and every RSVP. You do you.
4) Speaking of YOU- you need to take care of you. Yeah yeah, the big buzzword- SELF-CARE. It's no joke. Here's the deal though- self-care looks different for everyone! I'm an extrovert so sometimes I thrive off of being in a crowd... but at the same time... sometimes I know I need to just be at home. It's important to listen to yourself and your body- no guilt! Maybe it's a warm bath- maybe its a book- maybe it's going dancing- maybe it's sleeping in or watching a Hallmark Movie Marathon. It's SELF care- so no one can tell you what that looks like but you. How do you know it's self-care? When it leaves you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, revitalized, content and HAPPY!
5) MOVE- workout. Take a walk. Go to a class. Working out creates endorphins- endorphins make you happy and feel good. You will better able to handle stress, make decisions, sleep better, and feel better about yourself. Plus- that LBD on NYE will look especially fantastic. No excuses- you can find 3-5 hours a week to workout, and the benefits far outweigh anything else.
6) PLAN- This can mean properly planning for events and gatherings, but also planning for the day to day. Relieve the stress- plan your meals. One of the best things you can do is sit down with your partner and/or family sometime on Sunday. Maybe you and your partner wake up early on Sunday and enjoy some time together- go over the week ahead regarding events or anything out of the norm, and also meal plan. Plan your dinners. If you know you are going to be busy one day- plan a crockpot meal. Maybe make extra so you have lunches. Meal planning will help with (a) Budget- because you will know exactly what you need to purchase and stick to the list and not over buy (b) stress- every morning you will wake up knowing what's for dinner, no last minute throw together meals (c) eating healthy- meal planning will help you make food at home- more whole foods- less take out or eating out. Seems like a win win win win to me.
There you have it- 6 semi-easy steps to help stay sane this Holiday season. Best of luck and Happy Holidays.