Photos by LA PHOTOGRAPHY
It is Thanksgiving week already which means the start to the most wonderful time of the year. This is truly my favorite time of the year for lots of reasons including the cooler weather, time with my friends and family, and celebrating the reason for the season of course. It also can be extremely hectic and stressful during this time of year to be honest. With so much going on it seems like you have to keep up and can wear yourself out in the process as well. We always talk about all of the happy thoughts during this time of year, but I want to cover tips to help so you don’t have a nervous breakdown during this time of year either. There is stress going on in our lives all throughout the year, but when you put it into 2 months with so much going on and incorporating your family and friends into it, it can sometimes be just pure chaos to say the honest truth. Now I am not saying the holidays are just crazy, but can be if you don’t take a breather and use some of these helpful tips. These will make your holidays 10 times better and your keep your sanity in check too.
- Sometimes You Have to Say No: There is going to be so many invites to holiday parties, secret santas, catching up with out of town guests, going to see Christmas lights, etc. that you really just have to sometimes say no. With so many invitations you have to pick and choose which ones you go to. I sometimes struggle with this because I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and I think my friends and family will tell you this. I mean I did major in Hospitality so I could plan parties after all. But at the same time I know if my social calendar is completely full at least in December, I feel 10 times more stress and am way more tired in the morning. There is something about indulging in too much bubbly during this time of year at events too.
- Write Everything Down: I will be doing a dedicated post just for organization soon, but this tip is so important. I mainly use my phone calendar but I seriously write everything down that I have going on that day. I even have reminders like cleaning reminders or items I am going to need to replace and need to buy on Amazon. You need to not only write your plans down, but gift ideas or who you have already sent a present to as well. I also tend to keep a physical planner too. Having to write items in 2 different places actually helps me to complete the items. I do this quite often and sometimes will just do a brain dump and write my thoughts down too. This for me would be my journaling which I love to do and is my stress reliever. Writing everything down will help you stay focused and on track, and will also help you stay sane and less stressed.
- Exercise: You know what they say in Legally Blonde: Exercises gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They don’t. Or I should say in this case their family. I love that movie and especially that quote because it is so true. When we are stressed or in tight living quarters especially during the holidays, it is easy to get overwhelmed with each other. Getting outside and getting moving is going to be one of the best ways to stay sane. It also will help with all of the food and good desserts you will probably be eating during this time of year. I know for me it takes a while to get motivated to work out, but just a little bike ride or walk around your neighborhood is enough to get your adrenaline up to loosen up your stress.
- Watch Your Drink Intake: This is a bad one for me and can kind of be counter intuitive since we are talking about staying sane, and the first thing I think of is having a glass of wine! It is not a bad thing and I personally love to have a glass of wine with a nice bubble bath after a long day of work. It is times during the holidays though when we tend to over indulge and then it turns into an even crazier insane moment. You will probably be invited to some type of work party, so really limiting your drinks at those but having fun is important. You don’t want to be that co-worker that everyone talks about weeks later. Also when you are around your family a lot during the holidays and the drinks are flowing, you might say some stuff that you might regret. I don’t know about you but I tend to get mouthy, so to save everyone a dramatic reality TV show moment try to limit how many you actually drink.
- Treat Yourself: You have been shopping for everyone so treating yourself is the perfect solution. There is nothing wrong with buying yourself something if you see it and really want it. It will make you even more anxious if you don’t get it, and will think about it afterwards non-stop. I also think it is super important to indulge in a massage or facial during this time of year too. Doing an activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed is the best ingredients for this time of year.
- Pick Your Battles: I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but people are vicious when it comes to the roads and being out in general. I am not for sure if they are 10 times more stressed out too, but holy cow. I can’t tell you how many times people have had road rage with me or pulled one of those I am going to steal your spot in this crowded parking lot after you have had your blinker on for 5 minutes. Yep, it is times like these that really affect your mood and can make you extremely mad if you let them. I struggle with picking my battles sometimes but have to stop and think who knows what could have just happened in their life. You would think that during this time of year people would be all smiles, but be that person that is and don’t honk if it is not necessary 🙂
- It Is OK To Cry: This is a more sensitive topic but something that I feel we don’t mention as much because of course this time is a joyous celebration spent with family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving and Christ. That is certainly true, but can also be a very hard time for others who don’t have their closest ones here with them. I love this time of year but always get a little sad when I am around my family thinking back on traditions that my grandparents or aunts and uncles used to experience with us. It is perfectly normal to feel this way and trust me I have and still do. Heck, I even get sad that my ex isn’t here this year but that is a whole other topic 😉 Being able to share the joys but also sadness together is perfectly fine and shouldn’t be looked down upon.
- Share Your Talents: Sometimes a stress reliever and a way to stay sane during this time of year is to use your talents to help someone else out. I always think during times like these our hearts are even bigger and open to more volunteer opportunities to help others. It really makes you feel grateful for what you have when you share your talents with those in need. I loved growing up visiting the nursing homes and bringing cookies and singing Christmas carols to them. It is activities like these that make all of the other stresses in life go away for just a minute. There are so many opportunities during this time of year that anyone can help with.
- Remember The Reason For The Season: It all comes down to what exactly are we celebrating during this time of year anyway. Once you remember that and take a breather for a moment, it will all be better. Even though it is extremely busy during this time of year, taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to open the Bible or speak to God is super important for staying sane. I get these daily devotional emails and read them every day. If I am feeling overwhelmed at work or anytime during the day, I just open it up and start reading and feel more calm. Having this constant reminder in our daily lives is the best part of the season.
I hope these tips will be helpful this season. For me this next month is the busiest I have ever been before. I will be moving jobs and job locations at my company and going to be taking my PMP exam that I have been studying for. All while secretly wishing I could go to every event I am invited to. It is a glorious time spent with your friends and family, but can also get stressful really quick. Remember to take a deep breath and just remember what the season is all about.