Are you starting to feel the holiday pressure yet? So many things to do in just 4.5 weeks: buy & wrap gifts, send out cards, decorate the house, bake, attend more than usual social gatherings. . . All of these activities are wonderful yet having them all happen within such a short window of time can be overwhelming. On top of all these extra activities we have our normal day to day: work, taking care of family & house, exercise and taking care of ourselves with proper nutrition and sleep . . .
Here are some ideas to navigate successfully this next month:
- Start each day with a few moments of quiet gratitude — prayer, meditation, or personal reflection (whatever form is most meaningful to you). Focus on your breath. Your breath is a great indicator to determine how stressed you are. Practice focusing on your exhales. Can you make your exhales twice as long as your inhales — this is a great calming tool.
- Stay hydrated — drink more water — you are likely not drinking as much water as you think you are. A good measure to start with is 1/2 your weight in ounces. Right now I am drinking warm water spiked with a cinnamon stick and Lemon Vitality essential oil.
- Eat real food — granola bars or anything from a box is not likely the best fuel for your body. Keep your meal times calm by focusing on those around you or the enjoyment of your meal. No internet shopping during meals!
- Make a master list of all the items you hope to accomplish. Schedule these items on your calendar. Give yourself space on your calendar to allow for the unexpected — something unplanned usually comes up. Look for items on your list that you can let go of. For example, bake 3 different types of cookies rather than your traditional 10; make phone calls to friends and family rather than sending cards, have smaller gatherings rather than huge parties. . .
- Schedule and keep your commitment to yourself for self-care: Exercise daily, get enough sleep, do something that brings you joy every day (even if it is for 5 minutes). Do something that makes you laugh — when was the last time you had a true belly laugh? These moments of joy allow our nervous system to calm down during such a crazy time of year. Read a few pages in a good book, knit a few rows, paint, watch a good show, soak in a tub infused with epsom salts and essential oils. . . You need this down time to stay healthy. Only when our cup is full may we overflow and give to others. Self-care is so important and it is not a selfish act.
- Embrace the unexpected, let go of what you cannot change, release your self-imposed expectation for a perfect holiday. Look for ways to make your holidays simple. Just like music, the holiday magic happens in the quiet space amidst the chaos. Don’t let your holiday season become so crazy that you miss the magic.
Try this simple yoga practice & my favorite bathtub essential oil blends to help reduce stress.
Happy Thanksgiving! This is my most favorite holiday. I love the simplicity of the day — a nice meal with family and friends.