Most of us look forward to the holidays, but not the stress that comes with them. I have learned several life hacks the hard way through trial and many errors. My family has four birthday celebrations between November and December so I had to learn how to stay chill and enjoy myself while hosting and organizing these events. Believe me. I love it when everyone is together and want to be my best self. So how the heck do I do that?
Take care of yourself first.
Stress causes the build-up of cortisol which in turn makes fat. Sugar intake rises for most of us this time of year too. No one wants to gain weight over the holidays. Keep moving. Exercise gets those endorphins surging. It feels good.
Take a break from the hubbub. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbor’s dog. Do you have company? Ask them to join you for a walk. You may start a new holiday tradition!
Take the time to sit down and eat well. Drink lots of water. Turn off the TV and Internet an hour before bed to sleep better. I covered up the LED lights in my bedroom and it made a huge difference.
Recognize your limitations.
I could never figure out why I got so stressed out when others offered to help or to keep me company in the kitchen while I cooked. It would take twice as long and I missed out on a lot of the festivities. I finally realized I’m ADD and can’t concentrate. I’m so much happier in my own little world. I make a lot fewer mistakes too!
Have the opposite problem? Delegate. Ask for help. Give everyone a job. They’ll all feel like they contributed and you’ll have a lot more time to hang out together.
My son and daughter both cooked for Friendsgiving this year. Their secret is out. I will engage their expertise this year.
Lower your expectations.
No matter how you envision holidays, they are never what you expect. We are surrounded by images of perfect families, especially on Facebook. REALITY CHECK: There is no such thing. We’re human, remember?
Instead of using the time envisioning the perfect holidays, be productive…
Stop the constant updates on social media. Be in the moment instead.
Are you a Facebook or Instagram fanatic? Stop. I still can’t figure out why everyone is so obsessed with wanting to look at everyone’s personal photos. Think about it.
Would you go to a friend’s house to spend an evening perusing their photo albums?
Not me. It becomes addicting when posting to see how many people like them. I’m a blogger. I get that. But I a little goes a long way to connect with friends and family.
Have phone-free zones.
Have you ever looked around a restaurant and seen dozens of people with their noses in their phones? It’s terrible. Our population has grown exponentially, but we are more isolated than ever. Communicate the old-fashioned way. Face to face.
Purchase gifts online.
This is a no-brainer, but I still spent hours shopping for my husband a week ago. Why??? Looking back, I could have easily bought everything in a half hour and had it shipped to my door. Lesson learned.
Ask for links when getting loved one’s Christmas lists. My daughter is the bomb at this. She gets exactly what she wants.
Create some Hygge moments.
Hygge is a Scandinavian lifestyle. My previous post listed some Hygge moments to slow down and relax. Time is fleeting. Soon it will be January. Find ways to add comfort and joy to your holiday season. That last sentence seems so familiar…
This may seem trite until you actually sit down and write a gratitude list. After my brother died in March, writing in a gratitude journal helped me through some rough patches by focusing on the most positive moments of each day. Before going to sleep, make a list of three good things that happened. It works!
Do you have five minutes? I bet you do. Go to Insight Timer or another one of hundreds of meditation apps. Listen to one and tune out the noise. Feel better. It will also help with focus. That’s something in short supply for me during the holidays. I’m like an ADD Tazmanian Devil. Yep. Slowing down for me is a challenge.
Stay organized – Make a bullet point journal.
This really blew up this year. When I first saw blog titles with that name, I shrugged. I already was a list maker. My super simple bullet point journaling is very different!
It really helps me to keep habits like meditating or entering in my gratitude journal. Filling in the bubbles is a rush. I’m all about endorphin rushes.
I’m sure there’s a ton more to add, but the holidays are almost upon us and my list is long. I hope you have a fabulous holiday season this year!
Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Which one can you relate to most?
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