We’re shopping, decorating, entertaining family and friends… all the while maintaining our normal day-to-day routine. The holidays are a beautiful and meaningful time of year, but if we’re not careful we can end up hanging on to our sanity by a thin tinsel string!
Take a deep breath. Here are eight practical ways to secure your sanity in the holiday rush.
1) Sleep consistently.
The temperature has dropped, the days are short and viruses are everywhere. This is not the time of year to be skimping on shut-eye. Commit to at least eight hours of sleep every night. You’ll be more alert and efficient the following day. A good night sleep also refreshes our complexion and helps us avoid holiday weight gain.
2) Find quick ways to de-stress.
Seek out a quiet, peaceful corner of the house and call it your own. Meditate. Write in your journal. Diffuse essential oils to calm your mind (try a lavender-peppermint blend which is both relaxing and invigorating).
4) Plan a 2-3 hour escape.
Taking care of others is noble and fulfilling, but we have to remember to take care of ourselves too! Schedule a well-deserved mini-getaway. An acupuncture session, yoga class or massage followed by a leisurely solo lunch can do wonders!
5) Ask for help.
Hosting a holiday gathering? Don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Friends, relatives and neighbors are usually thrilled to lend a helping hand! Have them contribute a dish or, if they offer, don’t refuse a little help with clean-up. Making it a “village” effort creates feelings of closeness and community.
6) Set healthy family boundaries.
Does your talkative, free-spirited sister want to stay with you for 3 weeks over the holidays? Pause and think about it. While we want to be accommodating and open our home, setting boundaries can be the difference between sanity and insanity. Have a meeting with the other members of your household and agree to what you can handle given your current life circumstances.
7) Set a holiday budget and stick to it.
- Give beautiful handmade things. This therapeutic foot-soak gift is frugal and easy-to-make!
- Focus on giving from the heart, not based on the price tag.
- Buy small gifts that are high quality such as a beautiful natural-bristle hair brush, Belgian chocolates or locally made soaps.
8) Choose a service project over a gift.
The holidays grow more commercial every year (or does it just seem that way)? Sometimes in the midst of it all, reality sets in that there are people, right in our city, who struggle to put food on the table.
Consider reducing the emphasis on gift-giving and focus on a family service project instead. There may be a little resistance to the idea at first, but in the end it will be an experience that everyone will cherish. Here are some ideas:
- Get involved with a food bank.
- Organize a group of people to hand out sack lunches where the homeless gather.
- Have everyone pitch in toward a relief project – how about helping children access clean and safe drinking water?