What do YOU want from this holiday season?
Is it a religious occasion? A time for family and friends? Or a party season? Whatever this season means to you, you can have it all, but be realistic about how much you can do. Set your priorities, and you will make better decisions on how to spend your time and energy.
1. Plan ahead and pace yourself. Decide which scheduled events are most important for you, and plan your other activities around them. Spread errands and tasks out so you don’t have too much on any given day, and you aren’t left with a last minute rush to get things done. Know your capacity, and don’t push yourself over the limit. One way to structure your time is to divide the day into three parts, such as morning, afternoon and evening, and make sure at least one segment is downtime.
2. Simplify. Set limits on what you will do. Learn to say ‘no’, and to delegate. Eliminate unnecessary tasks and meaningless traditions. Start new, more relaxed traditions like shopping online or through catalogues. Don’t stress about those who have everything. When you can’t decide what to give, remember the humble gift card. Draw names for gift giving instead of everyone giving presents to everyone else if you have that extra large list.
3. Play. Take time to enjoy the children in your life. Or bring out your inner child. Find the old Monopoly game in the closet, or play cards with a friend. Find an internet game, plan a family BBQ in the park, find the footy or cricket set and take a break to have some fun.
4. Take care of your own needs. Learn your body’s signals, and listen to them. Get adequate sleep, and schedule in rest breaks. Don’t skip your regular exercise. Stretch often, and/or do gentle yoga. Eat in moderation, and don’t forget your veggies. Know if alcohol interferes with your medications, and avoid or limit it as appropriate (alcohol is drying, and disrupts sleep). Never skip your meds so you can drink. Limit sugar, chocolate and caffeine as they can affect your moods, and also interfere with medications and with sleep. Don’t let yourself get pulled into conflicts, and give yourself a timeout from commotion. If you’re out and about, don’t forget the aeroguard and most importantly put on the sun screen! If traveling on a plane, think about getting some saline nasal spray to eliminate the dryness of the air-conditioning, If boating, perhaps someone in the family will need some sea sick tablets? So BE PREPARED!
5. Finally, leave room for joy. Take a tea or hot chocolate break, and really savor the flavor and warmth. Go for a walk or ride to see the lights. Laugh, talk, and live in the moment. Snuggle up on the lounge to watch old movies. Remember that it is people that create memories. Focus on enjoying your company, rather than serving your guests.