Yes, it’s that time! I know many of you enjoy the holidays. With our family, getting everyone together in the same place at the same time is no easy thing! I’m extra grateful when we can make it happen.
Getting ready for Christmas can also be a challenge. No matter how much we enjoy it, most of us have more to do and less time to get it done. That’s a recipe for stress-filled days and potentially sleepless nights.
No one has time for either one of those. So, today I’m sharing my 12 top tips for taking care of you during the holidays. Here’s to enjoying all of it, without the stress.
- Scale back. No one will think Christmas is ruined if the bathroom isn’t decorated. It’ll be okay. Do the things you love but resist the urge to over-do. More isn’t always better, and this is one of those times.
- Plan down time. I know the calendar is full, which is why some planned time for rest is so important. Find 3 hours this week (and next) and schedule this time for a nap, or time to read, meditate, pray – whatever works for you. There are 168 hours in a week, (at least) 3 of them can be just for you.
- Ask for help. I know you can do it all. You know it too. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Let others pitch in taking care of house-hold tasks like laundry or the trash. Allow others help with baking and decorating if that’s more their thing. It doesn’t have to be all up to you.
- Outsource. I don’t know why I didn’t do this years ago. Buy the fancy cookies instead of baking them, or plan for Honey Baked or your favorite place to cook the ham or turkey. They take up too much room in the refrigerator anyway!
- Be patient with yourself. You’d never say the things to your best friend that you say to yourself. I’ve been there. Remembering that I matter means it’s okay to be patient and kind with yourself – especially when things are hectic. Your loved ones will back me up on this.
- Sing and dance a little. We know that music is helpful for relaxing and it is a mood-lifter too. Put on your favorite and listen when you’re driving or walking or fixing dinner.
- Eliminate the noise. Take a break from the news, social media and the constant stream of “what’s happening now” drama. I’ve seen a number of people share that they are hopping off Facebook until the new year to give themselves space to enjoy today. You won’t miss it, and you’ll probably find a few spare minutes of peace and quiet.
- Don’t skimp on sleep. Rest is one of the single biggest factors for a low stress day. Make sure you aren’t sacrificing your health to jam in a few more events. Make yourself a priority and you’ll enjoy this time much more.
- Be generous. We know that our brains give us mood-boosting chemicals when we do something kind for others. This isn’t about money although a donation to your favorite cause would be wonderful. You could just as easily take dinner to a neighbor or send a gift card to someone who’s struggling. You’ll both feel better.
- Give thanks. Gratitude for our blessings is a great way to remember what really matters most. It’s not about matching wrapping paper or the perfect tree – I know we all understand that – even if we lose sight of it now and then. A few minutes being thankful is a great way to re-set the most hectic days.
- Remember what matters most. When the urge to vent over the crazy traffic and long lines at the grocery store pops up, it’s helpful to remember the things we value most in life. I recall a story about someone nearing their end of life and his only regret; not loving more. That’s Christmas.
- Allow joy. Many of us block our blessings. You’ve got permission to linger with the kids at bedtime or have a longer than normal phone chat with your best friend. Say yes to the things that make you happy.
We all have more to do this time of year, and I hope you get the chance to truly enjoy the moments that matter most. That’s how memories are made. It’s what your kids will recall when they are raising their own.
Here’s to a joyful Christmas!