It’s October! You already know what that means. The Holiday season is right around the corner and I think I can speak for many when I say the holiday season can be STRESSFUL! And why is that? Why do we allow, what should be an enjoyable time of the year with family and friends, consume us with stress and instant panic when we realize the holidays are almost upon us?! It is so easy to lose track of what’s really important during this time of year.
I don’t know about you, but I put A LOT of time, effort, and energy into the holidays, and in what seems like a blink of an eye, they are over. Was I even present in the moments I spent with my family? Did I take time to do what I wanted to do or was I so overwhelmed with trying to accommodate everyone else’s wants and needs that I neglected to just take time for myself. These are questions that instantly run through my mind year after year after the holidays are over. So, this year I am committing to focusing my energy on making the holidays more enjoyable and I am going to do so by practicing these few things! Hopefully, if any of you can relate to adding the additional pressure to yourself and just wish you could enjoy the holidays a little more, maybe these tips will help you too!

Sprinkle Some Fun Into Your Holiday To-do List

Add a Few “Fun Things” to that to-do list: We all have schedules, goals, and sometimes we have things on our to-do list that we are not all that excited to do. BUSY is sometimes an understatement this time of year. We set expectations for ourselves that things have to be completed in a flawless fashion before we can even think about the next thing on our list, yet overwhelm ourselves because that list is long and it seems to never end.
Let me let you in on a little secret…the world will not stop turning if your to-do list does not get completed. Don’t you think taking some time to do fun things with your loved ones will help boost your enjoyment through the chaos and craziness of this time of year? Whether it is designating two hours of your time to go outside and build a snowman with the littles ones or enjoying some hot cocoa while completing a puzzle with your significant other.
People will not remember the checkmarks on your to-do list, but they will remember if you were not there to enjoy things with them. So, add that “sit down and watch a Hallmark movie with your eggnog” to that list, I promise, you will thank yourself later, I know I will.

Be Social In Person

Be Present: Take time to put down your phone while you are sitting in a room full of loved ones. Those Facebook drama-filled statuses and adorable Instagram puppy pictures can wait. Social media will still be there in a few hours. Focus on the people and conversations happening around you, for you never know when you can learn something new, or even be a helping hand when needed…or maybe you just get a good laugh! Life is way too short and we can focus on being more present in the time we have with one another. I feel those moments become memories that we appreciate a little more down the road. I am reminded of the saying “Today’s little moments become tomorrow’s precious memories”.

Slow Down And Become Less Stressed

Sometimes, you just need to say NO! I find it extremely hard to say the word “no” out loud at any given time, but for some reason, I find it especially hard to say this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s the feeling that if I can’t do everything or go to every single holiday party I’m invited to then I’m going to miss out or upset someone. But what I’m really missing out on is those times to just slow down and allow myself to be a little less stressed. I wonder what it feels like to not think, “There’s just not enough time in the day”…
It’s important to remember that when you start to feel like you’re getting run down and exhausted, and you just want to stay at home, you can say “no”. Say no to that holiday party and simply just stay home! Your friends will understand and if it’s for something that doesn’t involve anyone you care about, even better! Maybe saying “no” will give you an extra incentive for spending that night-in to sip your hot cocoa and complete a puzzle or watch a movie with the fam! I see it as a win-win!!

Give Your Diet “A Break” Too!

Treat yourself to those sweet treats- Remember to treat yourself to a few of those sweet treats. After all, you do deserve it! I know you’ve been working extremely hard on staying healthy, but the holidays only come around once a year. It’s not going to ruin all of your hard work to enjoy a few treats! Just keep in mind that everything should be in moderation, water is your best friend, and if you add a few extra steps, they will make up for those sweets! Do not deprive yourself of Grandma’s famous sugar cookies, they only come once a year!!
So be kind to yourself and have grace this holiday season. Afterall, it is supposed to be the happiest time of the year! Take time to enjoy the little moments and don’t overwhelm yourself too much. You are only one person. Keep these little reminders close and let them keep you in line! Happy Holidays to all!