If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to make it through the next two weeks in once piece while simultaneously punching the clock on end-of-year deadlines. With all of the joy that comes with the holidays, they can also bring on a lot of stress. This time of year isn’t easy for everyone as many try to navigate difficult family dynamics, financial hardhsips and the pain of loss – the holidays can dredge up lots of emotions. That’s why learning how to survive the holidays means taking extra special care of yourself this time of year.
Giving to yourself is likely the last thing on your list right now, but if you want to survive the holidays and start 2019 feeling vibrant, refreshed and energized to tackle a new year it’s imperative you take even a few small actions toward keeping yourself whole and healthy.
One // Ask for help. Understand you can’t do it all, all at once and know to ask for help when you need it. The other day I was prepping dinner and feeling particularly stretched thin. Instead of trying to get it all done myself, I recognized that I could use an extra hand and asked my husband to help with a tiny task that made a world of difference. He willingly obliged, dinner was on the table on time and it took a load of weight off my shoulders that evening.
Two // Relax, meditate, breathe. However you like to slow down and go inward, make time to do it for at least five minutes a day. Even a short amount of time can make a difference in how you show up and move through the rest of your day. Give yourself the gift of silence or at least some downtime by the fire.
Three // Limit screen time. There’s so much I could say about this, but I think it speaks for itself. Spend less time on your phone and more time making memories and connections.
Four // Exercise and sleep. Whether it’s your favorite group fitness class or a daily walk with your dog, keep your body moving. Movement offsets stress by boosting endorphins and helps to clear your mind. Sleep helps repair your body and keeps your immune system strong so get plenty of rest. If you have some time off of work, sleep in and take naps. Stress + a lack of sleep is the best recipe for illness.
Five. Hydrate and add greens. What’s a guide to surviving the holidays without a few cliche tips? Here’s one of them, but hear me out. Knowing that this time of year is rife with sugar, alcohol and any other decadent foods you can imagine, make sure that you’re fully nourishing yourself during the times you’re not at a holiday party or celebrating with friends and family. It’s instinctual to want to use that time to restrict yourself of calories or maybe you’re just so busy you forget to eat. Do the opposite. Eat plenty of whole foods especially leafy greens and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush toxins from your system.
Six. Plan to indulge. It’s simply not realistic to deprive yourself of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies this time of year so just don’t even try it! Plan to indulge in the foods you love but set boundaries (see below) so you don’t go overboard. Let go of any guilt and enjoy the company you’re with rather than making the indlugene all about the food.
Seven. Set boundaries and be realistic. Setting boundaries is an important skill for approaching anything in life. When it comes to the holidays, you’ll likely need to set several boundaries – whether it concerns how much money you’ll spend on gifts, how much time you’ll spend with certain family members or how many holiday parties you’ll attend and cocktails you’ll consume. Boundaries act as your own personal checks and balances to keep you sane, accountable and feeling good about the choices you make. Without boundaries, life becomes a free for all and it’s a slippery slope.
Which of these tips can you put into practice right away to not just survive the holidays, but thrive this holiday?