Let’s face it, the holiday season can be as stressful as it is enjoyable. Thanksgiving begins the last 5 weeks of the year that are filled with eating, shopping, entertaining, and family, friends, and fun and yes STRESS.
How do you balance all that there is to accomplish, going to the parties and dinners and have some peace of mind at the same time? Here are 4 tips to help:
1. Set reasonable expectations and goals for yourself.
It can be easy to get caught up in the shopping, wrapping, entertaining, office parties, gatherings with family and eating a lot. Take some time now to identify what is important to YOU this season. Write down what you want to experience in the next 5 weeks. Then share it with your loved ones.
When you get pulled and tugged to do something that you don’t really want to do ask yourself this question: Can I skip this or do I need to do this because of my commitment to my family or job? The trick here is whether this is a “have to” or a “want to”
2. Schedule YOU time.
Have you heard the expression, “The faster I go, the more behind I get”? Resist the urge to go into hyper gear in the hope that you will be super human and get everything done. Going faster creates more anxiety, less enjoyment and often blocks us from being present at the very events we are supposed to enjoy.
Even if it is just 5 minutes, take time to go outside, or walk down the hall or go into a quiet room and relax – no screens allowed.
Find yourself mover faster and breathing less? Sit down at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon and allow yourself to breathe. Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take 10 REALLY slow deep breaths. Allow your breath to start at your feet by imagining that you inhale through the soles of your feet. Let your breath fill your entire body up to your head. Then exhale slowly as you imagine all the tension leaving your body. Before you get up notice the difference a few minutes of slow mindful breathing can make in your energy and mood.
The holiday season can be an invitation to overeat and drink. Indulge wisely. Keep in mind that FOOD and MOOD are connected. Excessive sugar, caffeine and alcohol can intensify your level of stress. Just because you are going to a party later, doesn’t mean you should eat poorly all day long.
To maintain your even keel, or get back to one, make sure every meal and snack has some good protein and high quality fat. Breakfast with eggs and avocado will trump cereal and yogurt. Lunch with salmon or chicken with salad and olive oil will last longer than chips and a sandwich. You get the idea.
Finally. Enjoy you this season and you just might find that you enjoy everyone and every event just a little more.