The holiday season is here. This means you’re busy. Really busy. Many of us thrive on being busy, but when the busyness takes over, it can be hard to keep balance in your life. For some reason, it happens every holiday season – you vow that this year will be different but before you know it, you’re busy every evening and even double-booked on the weekends. Add in shopping for gifts, planning holiday meals, and making travel plans – and you’re stretched quite thin. Suddenly your gym routine, Sunday family supper, evening walks, book club meetings, and afternoon nap are replaced with holiday busyness. Well, this year, we want you to stick to your vow – and make sure that this holiday season is balanced. This balance is super critical for your health and wellness. Skipping out on your regular tennis game or cancelling your evening walk with friends not only impacts your joint health but also your emotional health. Remember, the holiday season can be stressful, and you need time to yourself to manage the stress and emotional drain that comes during the holidays. In this article, we give you some tips on how you can keep balance in your life during the holidays (and through-out the year). We share these tips as part of the SierraSil company vision of helping one million or more people live healthier and more active lives.
Just Say No
Practice saying it out loud. Say the word “no” and then say it again. See, nothing terrible happened. There is nothing wrong with saying no. You can’t do everything and be everywhere. This means you have to say no and mean it when you say it. Think about what is important to you during the holiday season and keep this in mind when you’re asked to help out, attend a party, bake some cookies, or go on a shopping spree – be ready to say no to the offers that don’t mesh with your holiday priorities.
Plan and Prepare
Your gym workouts, morning walks, or evening basketball games are important to you. So, make sure that you stick to these activities during the holiday season. Plan ahead and make sure you’re not giving up your regular fitness routine or evening out with friends because of a holiday event. It’s especially important that you don’t miss out on your priority activities for holiday commitments that you’re not that interested in. If you’re going to miss a yoga session or book club night – make sure it’s for something very important to you. Remember, regular exercise and time with friends is important for your physical health and emotional well-being.
There are only seven days in a week. There are only 24 hours in each day. Think of these numbers when you’re crowding your calendar with numerous holiday events and activities. It might just be a quick trip to the local craft show but when you try to squeeze this in between doing groceries, baking holiday treats for the potluck, and decorating the tree – suddenly you haven’t got a lot of time left. So be picky. Choose the events, activities, and people that are most important to you. You cannot please everyone or do everything.
When you smile, you instantly feel better. Just the simple act of a smile can be contagious and make those around you feel better. Better yet, laugh out loud. You’ll feel fantastic and others will smile just by hearing you laugh. When the mall is crowded, and you can’t find a parking spot or when you can’t find that crucial ingredient in the overly busy grocery store – smile. Take a moment to ask a stranger how their day is going. Hold the door open, offer to help someone with their bags - spread small acts of kindness to others. This, after all is what the holidays are really all about.
Remember the Reasons Why
Why are you rushing from store-to-store or baking cookies at midnight or searching online for that perfect ornament or trying to attend three parties in one evening? Why are you making yourself tired and stressed out? Think about the spirit of the holiday season. Is this rushing and stress really what the holidays are supposed to be about? To help you slow down and focus on what makes you feel best during the holidays, jot down the names of the people most important to you and note how you’ll make them feel special this holiday season. This is your priority for the holidays.
Make Some Me Time
That walk, yoga class, knitting group, backgammon game night, and swimming session are all about you. This is a good thing. Make sure you don’t skimp out on this me time during the holidays. You need this time to keep yourself supported, soothed, and happy. This is what balance is all about. Finding and making the time you need each day to enjoy the activities and people that make you feel your best. When you’re able to maintain this through-out the holidays, you’ll be happier, less stressed, and actually enjoy the holidays more because you won’t regret missing out on your favorite activities.