The holidays are slowly creeping up on us – okay more like charging towards us like a heard of wild horses. I mean really, how is Thanksgiving a little over 2 weeks away?! I do love this time of year though, even though I can get caught up in the whirlwind of festive foods, glittery garland, and perfect presents. Every year I make a vow to try and slow down, enjoy it more, and stress about it a little less. Here are five ways that I have found have helped me to make it through the holidays with a little more joy and less worry. What are some way you have found help you through this time of year?
Exercise – I know that this may be the last thing you feel like you have time for – especially when it is dark and cold out now too, but I know that when I still get regular exercise I feel more energized, relaxed and ready for the family/travel/work parties. It may not be possible to keep up with you current routine, especially when there is travel involved, but aim for something rather than nothing – talk a walk with the fam in your childhood neighborhood, do a 15 minute HIIT workout in your hotel room, or drag your cousins to a local yoga class even if it’s their first time (especially if it’s their first time!). Bonus: it also makes holiday cookies taste better, I swear.
Take time for yourself – As we have talked about on the blog before, it is so important to take time for yourself, even when you feel like you have a million things to do and million places to be. By taking care of yourself, you are then able to be the best version of yourself that is ready to be there for others. So don’t be afraid to say you need a break, it is much better than showing up for the party with your eyes crossed from too much holiday pinterest browsing for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe.
Indulge – and don’t stress about it after. There are so many yummy/boozy things that come along with this time of year – pumpkin pie, spiked eggnog, christmas cookies – the list goes on. There is no reason not to enjoy these treats, they only come along once a year! But more importantly, don’t beat yourself up about it. What you put into to your body is not only food, but negative thoughts as well. Try and give yourself a break and slow down to enjoy it all. You may find that simply savoring that piece of pie, you are probably satisfied and don’t want that second piece anyway.
Find a way to give back – it does not have to be a huge gesture or a major time commitment, it can be as simple as donating to a canned food drive, buying a toy for Toys for Tots , help your stressed friend/neighbor/family member prepare for their own gatherings or suggest a friendsgiving in the form of a day of community service instead of another giant meal (I mean we really don’t need 2 Thanksgivings!). In whatever form it takes, giving back and practicing gratitude can bring a great sense of community, tradition and memories beyond the commercialization of the holiday season.
Do what you can – There can be a lot of obligations and expectations surrounding the holidays and I know this is where I get the most stressed out. I try to remind myself that I can only do so much and I am not Martha Stewart (though even she is not perfect!) – and that’s okay. So only go to the parties/gatherings that you want to, only buy what you can afford or better yet make gifts if you are a gift giver, if you are hosting, don’t be afraid to ask people to chip in and bring food/drinks etc. By remembering that it is supposed to be a fun time of the year and not getting caught up in trying to do it all and you allow yourself time to enjoy it.
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