Top Tips to Stress Less This Season
It’s that magical time of year again!! The decorations are out, your kids are in, and everywhere you go there’s holiday cheer… and lines… and food… and traffic… and not enough time to get everything done.
SLOW DOWN… Instead of making yourself Christmas-crazy, here are some sure-fire ways to avoid going all Scrooge and staying the Super Elf you know you are:
DON’T HAVE A FIT, STAY FIT:
- Keep your workout routine going and you’ll be amazed at how much those sessions keep your mental and physical health on track. Make this a priority– and a much-needed sanctuary– in this busy season. It’s the best gift you can give yourself!
- Pace yourself, don’t hang every light from the tallest tree in one night, that’s where accidents come from and who wants to spend the holidays in the E.R. It’s easy to over-do without thinking, so stay mindful in your movements and keep your tasks realistic.
- Diets are a don’t. It’s sugar cookie/cheese ball/eggnog season, so piece-out by having small bites of something delicious without panic. Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than the guest who a) refuses to try something that someone put love and effort into, or b) tries something then complains how many calories are in it. If you absolutely can’t partake, that’s fine– but it’s a festive atmosphere, so keep it fun!
- Get out and play with your friends and family, nothing like a nice brisk walk through snow or sand, bonding over some flag football or a day on the slopes. Physical activity builds health but it also builds those memories we cherish with the ones we love. No matter what sport you do, you’re doing it together, and that’s what the holidays are about.
MENTAL-PEACE (the ultimate mantlepiece!)
- Make a list, check it off, keep going. This old-school method worked for Santa Claus for centuries, and it hasn’t lost its touch. Something about drawing a line through a task that makes us get to the next one with even MORE excitement!! You feel like you’re accomplishing things– and you are! NEXT…
- Organize your space– all those boxes filled with decorations, reindeer feet, lights and more lights– sort through what goes where then ‘stage’ areas and remove containers. It’s amazing how really seeing what you have and where it’s supposed to go makes the task seem easier. Phew. Now it’s time for the tree…
- Get help! That’s right, sometimes we forget to ASK others to help us when we get overwhelmed– whether it’s shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, decorating, feeding, driving, you get the picture– many hands make light work, so don’t be shy, or worse, get mad. Get help!
- Breathe and take a bath. No, seriously, know when to call it a day and relax and unwind. With your handy lists, your organization underway and all your helpers ready to go, remember to give yourself a much-needed break and some peaceful rest when you can.
- Nothing is perfect… and even when we plan everything, down to the perfect wrapping on the perfect gift, know that life has a way of surprising us. Better to remember what’s right about the holidays, and not everything that (oooops!) sort of went wrong. That goes along with expectations, too– we may want things to be a certain way, but somehow they never quite happen exactly as we planned. Imperfections are really nature’s reminders of what’s truly important in our lives– the people we love and care about–not how perfect or not we are.
- Be good to yourself, too. Family reunions can sometimes be tricky for a number of reasons; it’s also a time where you may feel extra pressure or sensitivity due to things going on in your life. Being good to yourself means allowing yourself the space to feel these emotions and honor them. Go for a walk, write in a journal, do some art, yoga, pilates.. know that your feelings are valid and very often make their own adjustments when given positive space. It’s all good so just be good to yourself.
- Be good to others… because that’s what this season is really all about. We spread joy when we are joyful, remembering the reason for this amazing time of year, and sharing our lives with each other. And don’t forget those special members of our community– the elderly, those suffering with illness or loss, the less-fortunate, our beautiful children and animals– we enrich our own lives by enriching others; we receive the true gift of Christmas through giving to each other.
Mantra Holiday Cheer: Come check out our specials this month and membership must-haves to start off the New Year right. Tampa, Sarasota and our new OC Studios are offering stocking-stuffer sizzle and go-to gift cards– a Pilates-body is the best gift ever! Sign up for classes and download our app for holiday schedules. We wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and Merry Christmas, from Santa Mantra to YOU!!!
Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. She still believes in Santa.