Life has been busy lately and I’m struggling to find an appropriate topic for this weeks blog, hence why I’m late posting it. At this time of year when we come into the tradition of celebrating Christmas, or perhaps you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or another tradition close to your heart, it can be a time of great stress, sadness, happiness, peace, and a whole plethora of emotions and physical weariness.
So how do you get through it without tearing your hair out, or being overwhelmed emotionally, physically or both?
I’ve got some ideas. 🙂
Remember, life is about balance. So indulge…a little, shop without overwhelming yourself, eat healthy 80-90% of the time, focus on quality sleep, and don’t get caught up in the commercialism of the season. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
1. Don’t panic- You don’t have to do everything, and if you have children they will sense your stress and may tend to act out which makes the whole situation worse. Take 30 mins a day for yourself. You and your sanity are worth it!
2. Limit travel if you can. If you’ve got your family and his family and other relatives to visit, try to spread the visits out over a few weeks, instead of trying to fit them all in within a few days.
3. Shop online! You can get great deals, often free shipping at this time of year, and returns policies are pretty liberal with online stores nowadays.
4. Get organized! Make lists. Mark important dates/events etc on the calender where everyone involved can see it.
5. Delegate! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not about perfection, it’s about fun and time with family and feeling connected. Get the kids to do things appropriate for their age, or helping when they can do some things with your guidance.
6. Don’t take on too much! You don’t have to do it all, and you can’t do it all. This is supposed to be fun remember, for you too, not just everyone else.
7. Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s ok not to bake something for the school sale, or to say no to one more potluck or cookie exchange.
8. When it comes to gift giving, set a budget and stick to it. I spent many years having a budget of $20 per person to spend, and I made the most of it and was happy with the gifts I gave because it required thought and effort, but also because I didn’t go into debt over Christmas, which would have added to my stress!
9. Let things roll off your back! Don’t take things personally. Remember everyone is undergoing their own stress right now and you don’t know what’s going on in their life. Let it go. Christmas is about giving, so give everyone a little extra slack…including yourself.
10. Limit coffee and other stimulating foods/drinks. Eat regularly- every 3-4 hours, even a little snack containing both complex carbs and protein is best. Consider a B Complex supplement from a whole food plant based source to help with energy and stress. If you really get stressed at this time of year, then consider a stress formula supplement from the same type of source. Also consider the following:
Eat whole foods rich in minerals and B vitamins.
–Green leafy vegetables – romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, spinach
Whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, teff, oats
Raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
Cooked beans – a rich source of magnesium (a vital stress-relief mineral).
Eat cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables that support enzymes that metabolize stress hormones more readily.
–Cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts.
Consume natural-sedative foods or beverages an hour before bed.
–Oats, warm milk, protein sources high in the amino acid tryptophan (cheese, meat, turkey, etc.), chamomile tea
Fish or fish oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the stress response.
Break the fast and eat a good-sized breakfast.
Skipping breakfast and drinking a cup of liquid cortisol (coffee) first thing in the morning will surely spike stress hormones.
I hope these tips help make your holidays easier to get through as no matter how much we may look forward to them- they are a time of stress. Your body/brain doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress, it just knows you are stressed.