Avoiding Holiday Exhaustion

We spend the year anticipating the holidays and all they mean to us. In our minds we picture the perfect meal, well-chosen gifts, and family moments worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting. What we forget to factor in are the realities of day-to-day life leading up to the holidays and that hollow feeling as we realize that we’ve underestimated the workload and overestimated the good cheer.

Let’s vow to do things differently this year; to prepare for the holidays in a way that will leave us feeling renewed rather than frazzled. We’ve put together a few tips that just might help make your holiday season a little merrier.

-Reset your expectations. Expecting perfection in any situation sets you up for disappointment. Remember that the holidays are an extension of your real life, and like real life, will have moments that are wonderful and moments that are challenging.

-Watch how much you drink. While alcohol feels like a relaxant in the moment, too much can compound stress and leave you feeling depressed.

-Be honest about your budget. Don’t spend money you don’t have or must payback in January. The people who care about you don’t want “stuff,” they simply want to connect with you.

-Make it simple. Next time you have an appointment look around for gift ideas. A gift certificate may be just what your sister-in-law was hoping for.

-Incorporate relaxation. No time like the holidays to take up or rededicate yourself to the practice of yoga and meditation. Both slow you down long enough to give your mind a break and rejuvenate your body.

-Reach out. Nothing will make your holidays more meaningful than the knowledge that you’ve made someone else’s life a little brighter. Call on an elderly neighbor, purchase a toy for a child in need, or help a local food bank pack holiday baskets. Your efforts will benefit others, but also work as a stress reliever for you.

-Take time for yourself. Between the carpools to play practice, trips to the mall and holiday get-togethers you’re likely to be exhausted. Schedule a massage or facial and focus on yourself for an hour.

The holidays only come around once a year so be kind to yourself.

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