Here come the holidays again! And that means an endless circuit of feasting, festivities, friends and family. Either you love this frenzied time or you despise the stress of the season. But with a little practice and a sense of humor, you can put some of that fun back into the holidays that you once enjoyed when you were a wide-eyed kid reveling in the anticipation and excitement.
Take a Deep Breath... and Move It!
Taking the time to move your body every day is a fabulous gift you can give yourself, especially during the fast-paced holiday season. Maybe you’re thinking, "How the heck am I gonna find a spare hour to exercise?" But it's well worth the time you put into it. Regular exercise will undoubtedly put a spring into your step and give you that extra bit of energy you need to tackle your mile-long to-do list. In addition to a positive mental boost, you’ll torch calories and keep those extra holiday pounds at bay.
Consider Cutting Back
Got a mammoth shopping list that's stressing you out? Think about making a few cutbacks. Sure, 'tis the season of giving, but you don't want to exhaust your finances and go into debt all for one day out of the year! Consider trimming that shopping list to family members and a handful of close friends. For everyone else you want to remember during the holidays, send a card or pay them a personal visit with some tempting homemade treats no one can refuse. This will slash stress during the holidays, and give you more time to spend with loved ones.
Laugh It Off
Throughout the holidays, try to hang on to your sense of humor. This will help you better cope with those frustrating traffic jams and crazed shoppers that can get under your skin if you let them. Rather than get mad when a frantic shopper grabs the item that you were looking at right out from under your nose, laugh. That's right, laugh out loud. You may get a few stares, but who knows, maybe someone will laugh along with you. Or not. But the point is, if you get angry, it will just set off a chain reaction of negativity. Instead, giggle a little and find the humor in a silly situation.
When you get caught in that nightmare traffic jam that stretches to the horizon, just turn up the radio and tap your feet. Take the extra time to relax and think.
Focus on the Sights & Sounds, Not the $$$
In today's materialistic world, it's hard not to get caught up in the commercialism of the season. Encourage your family to focus on what they already have, instead of what they want. The holiday season has so much to offer -- the twinkling lights, the delicious tastes and smells, the sounds of festive music. Take your loved ones to look at the lights, go sledding or skiing in that winter wonderland, or enjoy a warm bowl of chili or soup in front of the fireplace. Get caught up in those priceless moments that don't cost a cent!
Make Someone Else Smile
Do you know a widowed neighbor or a struggling single mom or dad? The holidays can be a tough time for people who are alone, dealing with divorce, illness or any other life challenge. Brighten someone’s day with a visit or a phone call. Lend a helping hand by volunteering at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
Recharge Your Batteries for Next Year
This busy holiday season, instead of getting swept away by all the hustle and bustle, take some time to down shift and recharge your “batteries” for the coming year. You can boost your well-being now and into the new year by slowing down and taking the time to eat nutritious foods (along with the treats), moving your body more, being with the ones you love and doing things that add a sense of purpose to your life.