5 Tips for Staying Sane During the Holidays
The holidays are approaching fast, and staying sane is hard in and of itself. Life presents a ton of obstacles – from financial stress, to relationship problems, to mental health issues and more. We’re busy people, and when the holidays come around (and they always seem to come around WAY too fast) it’s even harder to manage our families, our work, and most importantly our health.
One of the staples of the Holidays is good food. Although I’m all for indulging in a 2500+ calorie meal for the occasion, I definitely notice how sluggish it makes me for a pretty extended amount of time beyond the holiday festivities. One thing I have found to counteract this type of sluggishness that manifests both physically and mentally, is to be sure I’m taking great care of myself prior to the chaos that will inevitably ensue.
Here are my top 10 tips for staying sane, and most importantly healthy, during the holidays.
Maintain Healthy Nutrition
One thing that will certainly keep you sane during the holidays is maintaining a healthy diet prior to getting into the thick of holiday eating and cooking. Stay mindful of your nutrient intake, and if you live in a place where it snows and can be quite gloomy like I do, make sure you’re taking Vitamin D supplements or eating foods rich in Vitamin D like salmon, cheese, and whole eggs. Check out this great egg bake, or this breakfast burrito here for some delicious breakfast ideas.
Shop Early or Shop Online
If you’re planning for Christmas, shop early! No need to wait for the Black Friday rush, or the week-away rush that gets your blood boiling and sends your stress level through the roof. Getting organized and doing your shopping early, and doing the majority of your shopping online, will save lots of stress and sometimes will save you even more money. Check out this post on how to navigate Black Friday deals so you aren’t wasting time or your precious mind.
Working out is always good for your mental health. In fact, I have a post about how it literally changed my life here. Staying fit not only gives you more energy, but you’ll feel much better about yourself which will likely trickle over into when you’re actually eating all of those filling holiday foods. Your mental health is impacted greatly depending on your physical health, and you don’t need to stress or be guilt-ridden over eating so much if you generally maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have a great simple workout that I like to call the Triple Threat – it can be done at home with zero equipment and it’s a good cardio workout to get done without much trouble. It’s the perfect workout to build your strength back if it has been awhile!
Meditation and mindfulness are two lifestyle aspects that I practice on a daily basis. Mindfulness and Meditation are a bit different in that one is a more organized, formal practice; the other is a practice that you can work on no matter what you’re doing or where you are. Mindfulness is the informal practice of meditation, of which I use frequently. When I get caught in my head it’s the one thing that gets me out of it and allows me to engage fully in the present moment. Something as simple as paying attention the every step you take; the way your feet feel on the ground, the way they feel in your shoes. Or focusing on what you touch; the cool of the doorknob, your cat’s soft fur. The goal is to focus on these things without judgement. Just be there, in the moment and you’ll realize that all of those negative thoughts just drift away.
Take Time For Yourself
Make sure you take time out of your busy routine to have some self-care time. Along with eating well, meditating, and working out – take some time to do something nice just for you. Go see a movie by yourself, have a glass of wine and a bubble bath, indulge in a tasty treat, or that dance class you’ve been wanting to take. When all of your focus is on your family, cooking, gifts, and getting ready for the holidays – it will make those tasks much easier when you take a little bit of that focus and place it on you.
So there you have it! My top 5 tips for managing Holiday stress and keeping your mental health in check.