4 Holiday Tips for a Happier, Healthier You

Holiday Tips

From buying gifts and putting up decorations to preparing food and attending gatherings you may or may not look forward to, the thought of holiday “festivities” may make you want to go into hibernation until the beginning of the new year.

There are ways you can get things done and still be present for yourself and others this time of year. Here are four suggestions for stressing less and enjoying more during the holiday season.

4 Holiday Tips for a Happier, Healthier You

Holiday Tip No. 1: Give Yourself the Gift of Time

From a practical, get-it-done standpoint, starting as early as possible to gather what you’ll need to bring your plans and special traditions to life can help take the pressure off when you’re ready to implement. Add one or more holiday-related tasks to your daily to-dos between now and then to help thin the list. And while you may have a special-event errand-and-prep routine that’s long been your go-to, you may want to consider alternatives — especially if overwhelm and stress usually accompany it. Many big-box and local stores now offer online ordering and curbside pickup or delivery. Rolling up to pick up, or not even having to leave home, saves considerable time. Every little bit of breathing room can add up to significant stress relief.

Holiday Tip No. 2: Set Up Lifelines

Utilize available resources. If you have a therapist or coach, make additional appointments if the extra support would be helpful. Do what you can to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally, including role-playing potentially difficult situations. See if close friends or confidantes are available for check-in texts or to be a compassionate listener when stress levels rise. And even though parts of you may feel that you’ve got to do it all yourself, involving kids and other family members in recreating the traditions they love — and making holiday-related tasks fun — may leave them with lasting memories they’ll treasure.

Holiday Tip No. 3: Opt-Out

This can include choosing not to participate in an activity, leaving a gathering early and removing nice-to-haves from your to-do list altogether. Any of these ideas might seem a bit extreme, or make parts of you feel apprehensive about ruffling others’ feathers. But you can allow yourself to be at a place of choice about what you do, where you go and with whom you spend time. Making your own well-being a priority is just as valuable an endeavor as showing loved ones you care. If you feel conflicted about the possibility of not participating, hold the thought and feeling of what it would be like to attend the gathering or do the thing. Notice what you feel in your body. Then do the same with the thought of not attending or doing. Which option feels better? You can gather a lot of clues about what may work or not work for you from your body and emotions.

Holiday Tip No. 4: Remember What’s Important

It’s easy to get caught up in all the things that are part and parcel of the holiday season. To stay grounded, find small ways to remind yourself about what’s important if you forget. Leave yourself an uplifting note in a special spot. Plan to practice gratitude or take deep, cleansing breaths when you do something routinely each day, like fixing coffee or tea. And keep in mind that for those who love you, time with you — and your love, attention and focus — is what they likely want most. That may be the greatest gift you can give them.

Whether or not the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year depends on whom you ask. But with planning, you can be more present and engage in what feels meaningful.

Kristen is a connection coach who helps business professionals and entrepreneurs reduce the time, energy and effort it takes to get unstuck. To sign up for her free webinar, “Closing the Gap: Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” visit her website at beinganddoingnow.com.

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