It's hard to escape the merry and brightness at this time of the year.
With the holidays fast approaching, everything is getting that bit more twinkly: houses are lighting up, ski resorts are opening, turkeys are being prepped, and there's snow on the horizon, lifting our spirits with the hope of waking up to a fresh blanket.
Along with the sparkle, sometimes comes darkness. You might struggle a little more at this time of year with financial stresses, over commitments, family relations, travel woes, and more.
Last week we talked about healthy food habits you can adopt in order to stay somewhere near the wagon; today we'd like to talk easy self care for the prevention of holiday burnout.
1. Less is More
Overcommitment doesn't serve anyone, when only a part of you shows up to that 10th party in a row. What are you really bringing to the table when you're overworked, tired, grouchy and mindlessly bringing the same chips, dip and bottle of wine to an event? Which part of you is present and which got lost along the way?
Simplify. Look at your week ahead and note how many things you said "yes" too, or are awaiting an RSVP. What do you realistically have the energy for? Which ones get you excited? Who will you likely see and want to see at each event? What can you let go of?
Sometimes the greatest gift we can offer one another is that of being fully engaged rather than partially present.
2. Switch Off
That's right, turn down technology. For breakfast, dinner, a whole day, or longer. Whatever you can manage. Enjoy time with family and friends without the added distractions of social media.
Multitasking is never really a good idea if it serves to take your attention away from baking cookies with your niece, a precious conversation with grandma, catching up with that rarely seen cousin, or making snow angels with your partner.
Why not try looking through your own eyes instead of a camera lens and truly live in the moment. You might be surprised by the depth of connection you feel!
3. Give yourself a Timeout
Conserve your precious energy! This means taking a break from that noisy, champagne and sugar fueled party to take some time out. When we're in a house crowded with too many family members to count, we forget how beneficial it can be to your mental health to step outside for a minute or two.
Find a quiet place and spend 10 minutes or so deep breathing to refocus your energy and your self. Do what it takes to feel normal again before you head back in.
4. Set a Daily Ritual
Find one thing you can do each day that's purely for you. Maybe you take a walk by yourself outside each morning to ensure you feel centered and better able to handle conversations that might otherwise irritate your temper.
Take time to make yourself a hot drink: a warming golden milk, or immune boosting tea. Resetting yourself with one or two things each day will help you feel more grounded and in control of your emotions.
Holidays are hard.
"Multiple generations + too little personal space + loads of booze and sugar = STRESS" – MeiMei Fox, Health and Wellness Author.
Staying mindful isn't the easiest task to add to your list when you already have one as long as your arm to get through. Our regular routines have gone out the window, the pressure is on to appear happy, healthy and sane, and challenges abound as a result.
However, if we don't attempt to slow down, tune in and consider the benefit of giving your time and attention to others before generic gifts, we might find we miss the opportunity to be present and actually enjoy ourselves altogether.
So this holiday season, stop, breathe, check in and have fun!
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