I have to admit: I'm really enjoying the holiday season. Somehow, I've been able to strike a balance with it all, and haven't felt like it's run away with my sanity (yet). Of course, compared with my less-than-festive December getting settled in London last year, celebrating at home in Montana feels extra special this year. I've been pondering why the holidays can so often be a time of unhealthy excess: doing too much, spending too much, eating and drinking too much. It's a time when our life-balancing skills are pushed to the limits.
I realize holiday stress-busting tips is a topic that's been addressed ad nauseum...but I've just got to pass along the ones that are working for me this year...simply because, they're really working.
- Set limits. So we've declined a few invitations...and we haven't lost any friends. Make careful choices about your time, and accept that you can't do everything. And that's ok. If you missed someone's holiday get together, make an effort to reach out in the New Year.
- Don't just go through the motions to make 12/25. I've had way too much fun with my holiday shopping this year. Maybe it's because my daughter is 6, the golden age for Christmas...maybe it's because we sort of missed out on the gift-giving last year in London. Regardless, I'm enjoying the spirit of giving vs. checking people off my list. If you need more time to put more thought into a gift, does it really matter if it's a bit late?
- Indulge on a schedule. Yeah, I know, how un-fun does that sound? But it works. If you know you're going to a party on a certain night, eat lightly and don't drink the few nights before. Don't just say, 'tis the season and vow to undo the damage in January. I've found that balancing out my indulgences (alcohol, sugar, heavy holiday fare I might not allow to pass my lips any other time of year) not only helps me feel better, but also helps me enjoy them more.
- Let go of something without the guilt. I didn't send Christmas cards this year. I'm connecting with people I care about in other ways. And I don't second guess this decision every time a Christmas card arrives.
- Yoga. I've said this before - it's when we need it most that we mostly can't do it. The irony...it would be easy to find other things to do this time of year, but I am making myself fit in time to practice, even if it's only a few poses. You can try some of my ideas on the Athleta Chi in 12 Days of Yoga Gifts, One Pose Wonders, and OM for the Holidays: How to Detox Now.
Ironically, I did buy a box of Christmas cards...but mainly because I loved the quote on them, from Howard W. Hunter (who turns out to be a Mormon prophet):
This Christmas: Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and speak it again.
I'll definitely send them next year.
Labels: Athleta, Christmas, Holiday, Yoga