This is part 3 of the Thrive Thru the Holidays series. I’ve shared everyday food tips for eating healthy thru the season as well as food survival tips for holiday parties and family gatherings.
Today, the focus is on stress. You know it and I know it. The holidays can be a busy, stressful time. Choose even just one of these tips and give yourself the gift of a little more peace.
Incredible, Non-edible Rewards: If it seems like there’s always too much to do and too little time, it’s especially true during the holidays. Besides the parties, there’s the pressure to decorate your home like you’re Martha Stewart herself. Then there’s shopping, preparing for holiday guests, more shopping, Christmas baking, if you enjoy that. (But really, is it necessary to bake 20 dozen cookies and three kinds of candy?) School holiday programs. Church activities. Kids getting out of school for the holidays. Year-end pressures at work.
Wow! When you feel the need for a little treat or reward for all your hard work, look for something to ease the stress… instead of a food reward. Think like a hot bath by candle light, an exciting new novel, a massage, or quiet time to just indulge some other feel-good activity of your choice.
An Attitude of Gratitude: Sometimes we get so busy we forget to reflect on the true meaning of the Holidays. Consider keeping a gratitude journal between now and the end of the year. Just write down one thing you’re grateful for each day. Tell your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them. Send a thank you note or make a call to someone who’s shown you kindness. Volunteer to serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Remember how you’re blessed and share the love.
Move it: Stop blocking traffic while waiting for that close parking space at the mall. You know who you are. Just move on already! Park it and walk. Walk during lunch. Walk while you’re on the phone. Walk while you’re watching TV and checking email. Dance with your kids. Work some yoga videos on YouTube. Get up every hour to stand and move. Just move your body! Even if you don’t have time for a formal workout.
Get Your Shut-Eye: At our house, if Mama don’t get her sleep, Mama ain’t happy. And if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. As my hilarious husband would say, “Are you pickin’ up, what I’m throwin’ down?” Lack of sleep shows up as moodiness, hunger and cravings. So get optimal sleep (7-9 hours) each night to reduce stress and stay at the top of your game.
There you have it. The tips in this series aren’t your guarantee to peace, love, and skinny jeans this holiday, but they give you some tricks to have up your sleeve anyway. Remember… grace. Grace for yourself. Grace for others. And have a warm and beautiful Holiday Season.