The holiday season brings a great deal of joy and warmth. There's something extra special about this time of year -- but it doesn't come without fault. A great deal of stress is often added to the daily routine and it can be hard to catch your breath. The pressure of finding gifts, hustling and bustling to school events, holiday parties and dealing with those that aren't always a joy to be around. But this season really can be enjoyable and heart-warming, even with the stress involved. Approach this time of year with a great mindset by considering these helpful reminders:
Remember perfect doesn’t really exist. Your cookies turned out like blobs. Your lights aren’t lighting up. Your kids just made a mess of your clean house moments before the guests are arriving. Surrender your vision of what perfect is and just let it go. The only thing the people in your life care about is being with you.
Don’t feel bad about saying “no.” You can’t do it all. There’s no reason you need to go to every party and event from now through the new year. Decide which ones are most important to you and politely decline the others. Spreading yourself too thin isn’t good for anyone.
Stay away from crash diets. We’ve talked about reasonable ways to handle healthy eating during the holidays before. Please don’t decide to starve yourself to compensate for the extra calories you had or are going to have at that holiday party. If you do slip up, forgive yourself and make a point to be more mindful. Don’t punish yourself for any mistakes. Just move forward with better decisions. No punishment involved.
Know that asking for help is okay. Let me repeat: you can’t do it all. Let family and friends help out when they offer. They can bring a dish, grab something from the store on their way, or help with the dishes. If you have to go to someone’s party and don’t have the time to make something, grab something pre-made from the store. There comes a time when we all need help and learning how to accept it will be incredibly beneficial for your sanity.
Fit in time for yourself. Women, in particular, spend less than 30 minutes a day on themselves. Go for a brisk walk, read a book, take a bath, attend worship and pray, or make time with your best friend to just have one-on-one time without your kids tagging along. You’ll feel full again, which renews your mind and spirit like nothing else. We can't give from an empty cup, as the saying goes.
Remember, the holidays are about joy and wonder. Find yours within, and you’ll be able to spread more of it around.
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health and lifestyle coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes with guidance and gentle support for lasting weight loss and building healthier habits. Learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.