Feeling a little like Charlie Brown this season?
Does it seem all the things on your to-do list are drowning out the real spirit of the holidays?
Christmas and Hanukkah festivities can leave you feeling less than warm and charitable and the economy adds another level of stress as well.
What to do?
Here are some ideas to stay sane and keep the spirit of the season:
Ask yourself why. Why are you shipping out all of those cookies? Why are you rushing around to find the perfect gift for someone who won’t appreciate it? Why do you feel compelled to accept invitations to every event?
Listen to the answer. We make and ship out special Christmas cookies every year. This year we are cutting back. Time and funds are shorter this year, but making the cookies is still an important part of the holidays. It is a family recipe given to me by my father-in-law, who has passed away. Making them is a way of honoring his memory for us and for his friends and family we ship them to. What activities, traditions and events are worth your time and energy? Focus on those.
Let go. Just because you’ve always done it, doesn’t mean you have to do it this year. If the answer to the “why” question is “I don’t know,” maybe it is time to let go. Give yourself permission to focus on the things that bring you joy this season.
Make time. In the hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to neglect yourself and the people closest to you. Stop for a moment and consider how nice it would be to sip some hot chocolate, play cards, chat, or just relax with the people you cherish most. Make time to make some memories this season.
Get some sleep and eat well. Try not to chip away at your good habits. Protect your sleep, eat regularly and well. Try not to mess with your routine too much. Trashing your regular schedule will make you feel more stressed.
Move Around. Use your errands, shopping and Mother Nature to help you be active this season. Take a lap around the mall before you begin — and check out the sales as you go! Stop for a cup of tea while you are out and people watch — always a good diversion. Don’t curse the snow! Thank Mother Nature for the opportunity to be active.
Be Spontaneous. Don’t be so tied to your list of things to do that you miss the opportunity for fun. Your list will still be there after you build a snowman, dash off for a quick lunch with someone fun, or listen to a child tell you about visiting Santa.
Take a breath. Whenever you feel like you just can’t get it all done, stop, breathe in and out 20 times and just be still.
Wishing you low stress, love, warmth, and good health this season.
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.