Like it or not, Halloween, Fall, and Christmas decorations have officially taken over the stores. There is event after event scheduled from now until January. Work and school schedules are in full swing and vacations are on the books. If you find yourself exhausted and burned out every year by the time the new year roles around, consider taking measures NOW to maintain physical, mental, and emotional health through the holiday season.
Rather than going through the motions and trying to keep up with everything that “needs” to get done, establish some health goals you want to focus on between now and January. This will keep YOU a priority throughout the season. Write down your goals and break them up into small measurable steps. Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the key points for physical health. Include meditation, leisure activities, reading, or yoga for mental and emotional balance.
As for the holiday “stuff”, start by making a list of everything you have planned to do or places to go. Review the list and circle the items that have to be done. Review the items that remain and cross off any that you really don’t want to do and that don’t have to be done. You should be left with items you want to do. Acknowledge that you enjoy these things and if you were superwoman you would get them all done. Now be realistic and admit that you are not superwoman and cannot expect yourself to have super powers. Highlight a couple of your top picks to keep on the list and accept that in order to maintain your stress level you will need to cross off things on your list that you would enjoy doing if there were more hours in the day. By being honest with yourself about what you can realistically handle while maintaining a healthy stress level, you allow yourself the space to be mindful and enjoy the activities you choose to engage in this holiday. Ultimately, this will protect you physical, mental, and emotional health before, during, and after the season.