Plan Ahead

The holiday season is already started. Seems to start earlier every year to try and fit everything in. However, to avoid a lot of stress and get through to New Years with a smile on your face you will have to make choices.

1. Out of all the invitations, which ones do you really have to attend? An invitation is just that, it isn’t an order to appear. You can and should choose which ones are best for you and send polite regrets to the others. You simply can’t go to everything and everywhere. Doing too much because someone else expects it is a primary cause of Christmas fatigue and depression. Set your priorities and focus on what is important and refreshing to you.

2. Make a list of all the things you think you HAVE TO DO. Then for each item, ask yourself, why and who says so. Eliminate things that are not productive or joyful. Do a January or October letter instead of Christmas cards. Decorate less, cook less, eat less. Christmas, Diwali, and Hanukkah are celebrations of light and love not contests to outdo last year or your in-laws. Spend the time being together and being grateful and joyful. Less is really more.

3. Be willing to share. How many times have guests offered to bring something and you said “No” because you felt you had to do it all. Have you refused help in the kitchen or for doing dishes or … Let people help and enjoy the time to chat and visit as you do it. On the other hand, if you are the guest offer to help, share the load, everyone will enjoy it more and you will be a welcome guest again. Besides if you are working, you aren’t eating and nibbling.

4. Plan your get-together around activities instead of just meals. Check out Get Active.

5. Choose to do something for someone else. Who is your work circle doesn’t have family around? What kids do you know that aren’t going to get a good meal or go to an event or concert? Plan at least one of your events to include them. Do you know some elderly shut-ins that would enjoy a visit or a home cooked meal or even just tea and someone to listen to them. Giving is much more joy releasing than getting. Givers gain.

6. Buy local, handmade gifts and foods. Support the families and farms trying to make a living in your community. Giving them your buying power helps the whole community much more than supporting big box corporate stores. It also helps the environment as what’s made here stays here instead of being shipped across the world.

7. Take your Vitamin D and eat your veggies. And have a happy, healthy holiday.