Oh December. The month filled to the brim with Christmas parties, shopping, sweets galore, traveling and entertaining! It's enough to make you want to start dipping into the eggnog a couple weeks early!
This time of year is especially busy for the design and construction industry, as clients are trying to wrap up loose ends on their projects so that time can be spent with friends and family during this chaotic, yet special time of year.
The truth is, the holidays themselves aren't inherently stressful (it IS the happiest time of the year right?). We make this time of year stressful due to the expectations we put on ourselves and others.
So let's all sit back and enjoy this time of year (with or without an eggnog in hand!), because nobody wants to turn into the Grinch! I am sharing my top ten tips for staying sane during the holidays!
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!
1. Make time to exercise. Not only will you work off some of those extra treats you are indulging in this time of year, your gym date will actually keep your energy levels up and keep you feeling fabulous! Not a gym person? Try getting outside for a walk or snowy hike- meditation and yoga are also great choices!
2. Schedule plenty of fun. Make sure you fit in the stuff you actually want to do; not just family obligations. Sit down and make a list with your family or the top things that are important to do this holiday season. These might include ice skating, building snowmen, baking cookies together or taking a drive or walk to check out Christmas lights.
3. Keep a calendar of events and parties on the fridge. It is a pleasant evening at home sitting in front of the fire, watching a Christmas movie, when suddenly you remember- you're suppose to be at a family potluck with a dish to pass! Putting a organized calendar in a highly visible spot (refrigerator) will help you avoid this kind of stressful oversight.
4. Buy several generic gifts, wrap them up and keep them on hand. It's embarrassing when someone gives you a gift and you don't have anything for them. Avoid that awkward moment by finding several small gifts and wrapping them in advance. If you have extras at the end of the season, they can always be used for birthday gifts throughout the year.
5. Enough with the multitasking (women I am talking to you!). By training yourself to stop doing a dozen things at once and, instead focus on a single sensation or thing, you'll keep yourself in the present and protected from the anxiety or your crammed schedule. So sit down and enjoy that cup of fresh brewed coffee, in the end you will save yourself your sanity!
6. Spend a day preparing meals for the freezer. In between all the hustle and bustle, you still need to feed your family. Instead of driving through the fast food lane, take some time now and prepare several family meals that can be frozen and easily reheated! Also, preparing grab and go snacks and lunches work well for the week days and weekends on the go! I like to always have my refrigerator stocked with hard boiled eggs, cut up veggies and hummus and homemade energy bites! I also always have one of my Isagenix shakes on hand for those days when there is no time for breakfast and lunch! Also- drink LOTS of water (staying hydrated in the winter is key to glowing skin and keeping hungry under control!).
7. Go easy on spending. Even if your budget isn't tight, overspending often leads to stress and guilt. Thing about what everyone really needs and set a reasonable budget. Stick to it.
8. Stay present and be in the moment. The more you stay present in the moment, the less you are caught up in the mind and all the things you still have to do or haven't done yet. Be aware of your breathing, this is a good signal to know when you are getting anxious. When this happens, stop what you are doing and take a breathing break. You will enjoy the time much more.
9. Get good sleep. Holiday parties can often disrupt regular sleep patterns. Try to get to sleep at the same time every night. Avoid heavy foods, sugary sweets and alcohol before bedtime as these can disturb your sleep.
10. Have fun, laugh and commit to enjoying the holidays. At the end of the day, you just have enjoy this chaotic time. Laughter is the best medicine, so cherish this special time with family and friends!