Happy Monday, friends! Can you believe we’re starting the last full week of October?!? The holidays are official upon us–there is no denying it now.
There is a lot of focus put on staying healthy during the holidays: emphasis on finding your fitness pattern, which appetizers have the least calories, how to make Thanksgiving dinner more healthy…but today I want to talk about the other healthy. You know, that one that goes straight out the window the minute you start thinking about all those weekend plans, school vacations, and visiting family. The healthy on the inside.
I can feel my mental health fraying at the edges the minute I start thinking about the holidays. Lets be honest: the “most wonderful time of the year” is full of stressful events. I don’t have much advice on how to avoid them, but I do have some tips on how to handle them a little better. Here is what I’m doing this year to keep the stress in check:
- I’m staying off Facebook. This was a rule I implemented several weeks ago when the chatter about the election just got to be too much. I set alerts to tell me when important people post things, or when someone posts in a group I need to pay attention to (like one of my homeschool groups or my virtual bookclub). If I don’t get those notifications, I ignore it all together. No mom-guilt over other people’s perfectly poised holiday photos, no seeing snarky comments from family members. And whole hours of my life back since I’m not scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.
- We’re taking a day off on the weekends. My city is jam packed of amazing things to do in the fall and through the holidays. I could try and do everything, or…we could stay home and keep our sanity. I vote for keeping the sanity! Sunday afternoons (and sometimes the whole day!) have become “days off”: no grocery shopping, no laundry, not picking up clutter. Just books and games and hanging out. Does my house look a little rough Monday mornings? Sometimes. But I start the week rested and with a clear head.
- I’m being choosy–and I’m choosing fun. When I asked my friends how they choose what to do during the holidays, someone mentioned that they ask their kids what they remember from the previous season. I thought this was a great idea. So this year, we’ll hit up the family favorites, and add one or two new events. And I’m cutting back and saying no to events and invites that we “should” enjoy–but don’t. We all have them in our life–and this season, they just aren’t going to make the cut.
- I’m shopping online and I’m doing it early. I admit, I love to wander through the mall and look at the decorations and the hustle and bustle. I do not like standing in line with a whiny kid. Hello, online shopping. I’m in the process of making my list, checking it twice, and being done.
- I’m asking for help. I read something in a magazine just this morning that really resonated with me: “asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It makes you an adult.” That is really true! As I work on my schedule for the week, month and season, I’m intentionally scheduling in help and time off: time for my son and husband to have boy time. Time to get a massage. Time for the grandparents to have a cookie-baking adventure with my son while my husband and I sneak away to find some mistletoe. Everyone deserves a break, especially around the holidays.
I’m already feeling better just thinking about it. I’d love to know: how are you going to keep healthy on the inside this holiday season?