Handling the Holidays – The Stress
On Thanksgiving, do you eat and eat and eat and eat, because it is there? Do you leave the meal feeling stuffed and guilty for overindulging again?
On Thanksgiving, do you feel deprived, hungry, pick at only a few food items, watch as everyone else gets to eat what they want? Are these your only options?
This Thanksgiving, put a plan in place. Enjoy the special meal, choose small portions of those food items that aren’t typically on your menu plan. Don’t go at it with a buffet line mentality, but as someone with a treasured meal mentality that allows you to look forward to a meal that has finally arrived.
With the holidays here in full effect, I thought I’d cover some common struggles over the next few weeks we all face during this time of year.
And that leads me to our first one. LACK OF SLEEP.
It's true when we're rushing to fit it all in, sleep is the very first to go. We stay up later than we should knowing that we "just need to get through the next couple of days...week or month." And yet, even though we may finish a project or task by staying up later, that sleep decrement bleeds into the next day. Lack of sleep is more than just self-imposed 'punishment' for not being able to get everything done.
It can lead to weight gain, difficulty concentrating, and can flat out ruin your holidays.
So if you're already putting sleep on the back burner to start crossing things off your holiday to-do list, take a moment and consider what really needs to get done.
Ask yourself, what do you want to create the most this holiday season? Instead of telling yourself you need to have a perfectly decorated house, home made goodies for every acquaintance you can possibly think of, the ideal Christmas present for everyone on your list, in addition to being perfectly dressed, coiffed and manicured, maybe you pick a 'theme' for the season.
Focus on ONE thing and let go or delegate the rest. I know it sounds easier said than done...but how many years have you tried to pack everything in and watched the month vanish at a blink of an eye....with no real meaningful memories in it's place?
Here are just a few trade-offs to consider so that you may go to bed earlier each night.
- Purchase gift cards instead of presents for people on your list. Easy one stop shopping and little gift wrapping involved. Plus, as a friend always says - it's 2 gifts in one...now you have a reason to go shopping too!
- Hire someone to clean your house.
- Pick one or two key rooms to decorate and let go of the rest.
- Shop at stores that offer gift wrapping with purchase.
- Having a party? Have it catered and/or hire a bartender and enjoy the opportunity to visit with family and friends rather than spending your time in the kitchen.
- Shop online.
And yes, I know, sometimes you DO NEED to stay up later than you'd like. Here's your recipe for the next day.
Take a nap if you can. 15-20 minutes. No more or else you'll end up creating a cycle that could make falling to sleep at night harder.
Lay off the caffeine. I know, sounds like it's impossible...but it's not. Suffer through the sleep deprivation for the day, and sleep more soundly the next night.
Don't skip your workouts. The exercise will help to make you feel energized. At the least, get outside for a quick 15-20 minute walk in the brisk air. Invigorating.
Bottom line, ask yourself is staying up late to do whatever you need to do, really worth it? Are these expectations you have of yourself necessary or even important to you? If not, it's time to let go.
To your Best Health (and next time),