Between visiting with in-laws, preparing a Christmas Eve feast and wrapping all those carefully hidden presents, the holiday season can leave you overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. But no one wants to feel down in the dumps while everyone else goes on their merry way. This year, instead of feeling frazzled and spent, follow these tips to re-energize yourself and push through into the new year. And, who knows, with a boost of energy and a new outlook, you might actually enjoy the festivities.
1. Practice Self Care
Even in a season of giving, it’s important you still make time to take care of your own needs and wants. Because if your mental or physical health is suffering, you won’t be able to be fully present with loved ones. So, give yourself a break and start by carving out just a few minutes of your day to do something that makes you feel good. Eventually, you should be allowing yourself at least an hour to do something for you every day. Meditate in the morning to refocus and start your day with an open mind or start a gratitude journal. Maybe take a warm bath in the evening or cozy up with your favorite book. Choose something that rejuvenates your mind, body and soul and be fully present at that time.
As part of your self-care routine, you might consider some good old fashioned aerobic activity. Exercise gets the endorphins flowing and boosts confidence, energy levels and self-esteem. It also reduces stress and fights seasonal depression and anxiety. Not to mention, it keeps you looking and feeling great, even after indulging in pie and too many Christmas cookies. Try incorporating a visit to the gym or a yoga class midday to give you an added boost of energy when you might be feeling a little sluggish. Workout in the morning to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed or in the evening to help you fall asleep faster.
3. Adopt a Positive Mantra
If you happen to have little ones that are either early risers or night owls, you may have difficulty finding the time to really develop a self-care or exercise routine. But, there’s always time to speak kind words to yourself. It might feel silly at first, but repeating a positive mantra will help keep your mind calm and your spirit centered through all the holiday chaos. For example, when you find yourself in a stressful situation, repeat phrases like “I am enough” or “I am capable” either out loud or in your head to refocus and find the energy to overcome. If this isn’t exactly your style, you could write encouraging notes to yourself instead and post them around the house to give you positive boosts throughout the day and re-energize your life.
‘Tis the season of giving, which means it’s also the season of buying stuff. While you’re out shopping for your friends and family, it can be far too easy to shop for yourself too. So, if you find yourself purchasing new decorations for your mantle or hand towels that better match your shower curtain, it’s time to declutter and reorganize. Donate or eliminate items you don’t need and tidy up what you already have. This may be the perfect time to reorganize your holiday storage area or closet. Or go through your children’s toys and get rid of anything they don’t play with anymore to make room for new gifts.
5. Try Something New
If you can’t seem to muster up the energy to attend yet another choir concert, maybe it’s time you try something different. If you have young kids, take them to a tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree together. Go caroling around your neighborhood or maybe bake and decorate cookies. And, if a new activity ends up being a hit, consider making it a family tradition. This will give you and your kids something new to look forward to next year and keep the holidays fresh and exciting for everyone.
6. Surprise Someone
One of the best ways to shake up holiday traditions is to do something nice for someone else. And, of course, this is what the holiday season is truly about. Foster a dog or cat for a few weeks or bake extra cookies to take to your neighbors. Set out cookies for your postman or donate to a food pantry. You can even choose to donate to a non-profit organization like World Vision, which lets you buy chickens, goats and even alpacas to give to families in developing countries. You can even purchase these animals in the names of family members and gift them with recognition.
7. Manage Your Time Wisely
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to drown in a list of to-dos. Presents must be bought, lights must be strung, brownies must be baked. It may seem as if there’s too much to do, yet not enough time to do it all. Take charge of your day by writing down a few tasks you aim to accomplish and stick to it. Don’t give yourself more than you can handle and always leave room for a self-care routine. Managing your time wisely will ensure you have time for yourself, your family and others and help you start the new year refreshed and re-energized.