Yes. You read that right. STOP trying to stay sane this holiday season! Stop reading articles about how to keep your cool, how to remain stress-free, how to not feel like a chicken with your head cut off etc. etc. etc. (But keep reading this one…)
Let me clarify. I am NOT saying I want you to be stressed and crazy during the holidays. What I really want to shed light on, is why you feel this way to begin with. The holidays are truly meant to be a time for gratitude, warmth, love, family and friend time, and relaxation. If you find yourself overworked and stressed, we have some deeper issues to address.
Stop Staying Sane
Your self-care goes out the window. Let me guess…Since it’s time to give and do for others, you forget about yourself? This is SO common and I’m also guilty. Self-care is probably more important during this time of year because of how much we are doing and giving for those around us. What does this mean?
MOVE that body. Don’t forget to workout. Go on a hike or for a run. Take a group fitness class. Do yoga at home. Whatever you need to do to get the blood flowing every single day, do it. If you’re spending so much time shopping you don’t have time to exercise, you’re shopping too much. Plain and simple.
Epsom salt baths. One of my absolute favorite ways to let loose after a super busy day and really fall into nighttime mode. Add your favorite salts and even your favorite essential oils!
Eat well. I get it. We indulge during the holidays. I do too (and I’m not sorry about it). But don’t forget the 80/20 rule. Get your veggies in. Get the quality protein in. Get the healthy fats in.
Stay hydrated. I am SO guilty of this one. When the weather isn’t as warm, I find myself drinking less and less water. BAD habit! We need water to stay functional, thinking clearly, and to sleep properly. Grab your favorite reusable water bottle and bring it along for your black Friday shenanigans.
Learn when to say no. This may be easier said than done but it’s a MUST. Too many party invites? Say no. Too many plans with friends or hosting at your house? Say no and cut down. Too many philanthropic events? Say no. I definitely want you to give, but there’s a limit for everyone. You need to reserve time to enjoy your own home, your own family and your own downtime. Never feel guilty about this.
You find yourself doing things that you…well…don’t really want to do. We are all adults here. It’s about time you STOPPED feeling guilty about not wanting to do things your friends and family want you to do! It’s ok to decline an invitation. It’s ok to say “you know what? I’m tired and I’d like to read my book and relax at home tonight.” Doing things we don’t want to do or because we feel obligated is pretty much one of the most miserable things I can think of. I found myself in these situations OFTEN and it was life changing when I stopped caring so much about what everyone else wanted and tended to myself. This time of year is especially crucial for this practice. It also allows you to truly enjoy the things you actually want to do!
Traditions take a toll – the good and the bad. I love traditions and think they play an important role in our families and cultures. I also believe that some traditions should probably be retired or at least optimized. Traditions hold special meaning because they are generally longstanding but also because they make those involved feel connected and loved. Over time though, these traditions may put an extra amount of work, stress or unwanted feeling on particular members of the family. If this person happens to be you, you are allowed to offer changes to the tradition or better yet, come up with something entirely new. The family makes the tradition.
Stop being superwoman. Well, no, don’t stop. You’re awesome and I love it. BUT please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your partner, your kids, your brothers and sisters and anyone else that you have in your circles. I am definitely the overachiever by nature and I find myself taking on everything because I think I can. Truth is, even though I can, it’s HARD. And tiring. And stressful. Delegate tasks and lean on your family to get the things that need to get done, done.
Don’t procrastinate. Come on folks. The holi-dates don’t change every year. We all know when things are happening. Make time, plan ahead, ask the right questions and make it happen. Procrastination happens because we make excuses for doing the things we need to do. I can promise you that the more you plan, the less stressed you’ll be.
To Be or Not To Be
Sane – to be or not to be? So. Let’s talk about the real reason we feel stressed and like we are going nuts during the holidays. Decorations, gift buying, donating, family time, parties, shorter days, work still goes on, meals still need to be made, chores still need to be done, Christmas plays and concerts for the kids, family pictures and just about everything else that happens in our normal day to day. It’s a lot. It can be overwhelming and it can be stressful.
There are 2 ways to approach the holidays season. The first is with excitement, embracing this time of year and doing all of the things listed above with love and care, enjoying each moment.
The second way to approach the season is with instant stress, complaints, worry and uncertainty. Our mindset dictates absolutely every single thing we do. Going into anything with a negative mindset will never support a positive outcome. If you genuinely don’t enjoy the holiday season, EMBRACE that.
You don’t have to please anyone else and you don’t have to do things you don’t want to do. Indulge as much as YOU want to. If you go into the season without the positive mindset, your experience will mirror exactly that. So what’s the takeaway? Enjoy it, love it, and embrace it. OR, don’t. But don’t try and fake it and force it. You will not end up happy and you will in fact, not stay sane. Don’t forget that you’re not obligated to like the things other people like.
So Now That We’re All On the Sane Page (see what I did there?)
I personally love the holidays. I enjoy the change in weather (although it still remains quite warm here in Florida), the decorations, extra time spent with family and friends, food and all of hustle and bustle. I encourage you to implement the things listed above and really slow down this holiday season. Next time you see an article about “staying sane during the holidays,” laugh it off and say, “psshhh I’m awesome!” Do more of the things that make you happy and less of the things that don’t. Even more importantly, don’t apologize for it. Do it with pride.
Happy November ya’ll!
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