Wow where is the time going!?
It always seems to slip away during the last two months of the year, especially with all of the holiday commotion that we get ourselves into!
As someone who loves this time of year, I don’t always realize when I am overextending myself and running thin while hanging lights, binge shopping and staying up all night on Pinterest. Once it’s time to actually enjoy myself, I’m depleted physically, emotionally and financially. It truly becomes a vicious cycle! Trying my best this year to hold myself and YOU accountable to have more joy and less stress. I’ve compiled some of my favorite Do’s & Don’ts after reading a few holiday prep articles and coming up with my own ideas after reminiscing on things that I wish I had done differently in years past. Take in whatever can apply to you and your routine through the holiday season. If you have any other good tips to follow please share!!!
MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE!
Do: The ADULT Version Of “Secret Santa.” Pair up with someone and give SANITY instead of gifts. Someone to share secrets with who won’t spill them to your siblings or relatives. Someone who will hold you accountable for your spending, splurging and sweet tooth urges. This person should be outside of your family and the drama. It can be an online buddy, mentor or friend. Someone who can tell you without bias if you’re being a little too touchy about grandma harassing you about your weight or bring you back down to earth post-panic attack when your cheesecake looks like a cheese soup. You should also be willing to give your friend advice in return and be supportive, help trouble-shoot when they can’t find the right gift for the teenage boy in their family or just to laugh with about the silly things we all stress on during the holidays. I promise this person will come in handy when you least expect it.
Don’t: Skip Working Out Just Because It’s The Holidays. You need to get out of the Detox/Retox holiday cycle. It’s hard on your body mentally and physically and you will crash sooner or later if you don’t take care of yourself. If going to the gym doesn’t sound fun when the rest of the family is watching the football game or Rudolph, balance and challenge yourself with new activities that you can do with the family or simply on your own. Yes, it may be cold outside, but it also is beautiful and could be a perfect way to enjoy some cardio. Sledding, hiking, ice skating, skiing, snowmobiling, building a snowman, hanging lights or decorations all can take place of a trip to the gym. By the time you’re all the way bundled up you will usually already be sweating. If you live somewhere with less snow and more sun, think about taking the family on a wilderness hike, biking, going stand up paddling at a local harbor, play a game of flag football, take yoga or a dance class. Bonus Tip: Put all of the wrapping paper and supplies up or downstairs so every time a gift is added under the tree you need to use the stairs. There are truly so many ways to swap out the leisure routine with activities that will make up for the holiday buzz.
Do: Declutter While You Deck The Halls. When preparing for guests and putting up decorations, take time to put things away, give away and ultimately organize so you have less busy work to do when the season ends. Clutter never helps and can make what would be beautiful just look messy and even dirty. Using decorative furniture that has storage components is always a great way to hide little things like remotes, coasters and other stuff that fills space that centerpieces or candles could be placed. When you don’t have clutter distracting you, you’ll have more time to focus on your party planning and holiday fun! Remember to put your decorations from each season away neatly before taking out the next and LABEL your boxes so you have them ready for next year!
Do: Allow Yourself To Enjoy The Party. This may seem like a no brainer, but doesn’t always happen if you’re trying to count calories, decide if you bought the right presents or made a dessert everyone will like. Life is all about moderation. You can’t please everyone and unless you accidentally fried the cat instead of the turkey no one will remember if it was too dry by the end of the night. Don’t feel obligated to share all of the details about your life and job when people ask too many questions… Excuse yourself if you need a breath of fresh air when voices are too loud or if you feel any situation is out of hand. Focus on the positives and adjust your attitude to reflect on the way you want others to remember you as. Play games, drink an extra wine (not 5 extra wines), hang out by the kids table for a while and just live in the moment.
Don’t: Splurge On Holiday Decorations Or Supplies.
I can’t believe I am giving away my most cherished secret, but it has to be done. This is my gift to ALL.
99 Cents Only Stores (click for current ads).
After long time obsessions with Michaels (still a great place but not for everything), Target, Home Goods, Tuesday Morning and many others, I can honestly say I have never been happier shopping for my holiday needs. From cleaning products to gift bags and tin foil to flower vases.
This place literally has the big name brands, beautiful decorations and close to everything you need. Prepare to be amazed if you’ve always stuck up your nose to this store and others alike.
Not every food product applies to healthy living but there are plenty that do. If you are trying to budget this year I promise you will not be disappointed by what you find here.
With the money you will be saving on tissue paper, Christmas cards and other little things that add up, you will be able to spend on organic produce, extra special presents or even give back with in ways you haven’t been able to in years before.
Do: Find Alternative Ways To Make Your Favorite Foods. I love this tip for Thanksgiving and Christmas menus. Focusing on quality ingredients when entertaining and making things from scratch are two big lessons I’ve learned through past holiday seasons. When you buy pre-made or take the easy way out it always ends up harder and less satisfying in my opinion. Having the internet at our fingertips to find new recipes and exciting foods to eat has never been easier. Check out Pinterest for some healthy holiday recipes and ways to make your favorites that you may have not thought of before. This year I have Honey Roasted Butternut Squash w Cranberries + Feta, Gingerbread Loaf, and Baked Pears on my list!
Don’t: Deny Yourself Sugar Completely. Coming from a sweet fanatic, I know this is probably not the healthiest tip in the list, BUT, I also know that being extreme and cutting yourself off of things completely could have a negative affect.
Do: Let yourself sleep in. Sleep is everything. Make sure you are treating yourself first in order to treat others right during the holidays. Anxiety, stress and financial burdens shouldn’t be what drives your health and focus this season. And grabbing that Hot Chocolate or Spiced Latte isn’t going to help your sleep either! Cut the caffeine, put your feet up, lock the door, turn on the right music, make some tea… Whatever you need to do to get in a few minutes of rest each day to keep your joy high and stress low. Here’s a LINK from Dr. Axe I found recently to help you sleep, meditate, relax and enjoy your holidays to their fullest! Bonus Tip: When all else fails, Pray & Pray some more. Enough said!