Ahhh...the holidays. A time for peace, joy, family, and giving back — but for many, it can become a time of stress, anxiety, multitasking, and overcommitting.
Does this sound like you? No matter how you celebrate the holidays, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year. Let’s face it. The holidays can be stressful.
Oh no, I forgot to get an ugly sweater for the office holiday party. Wait, did I sign up for a Secret Santa gift exchange tonight? Ugh, do I have all the ingredients for my homemade sweet potato recipe?
It’s easy to get caught up in a holi(daze), but JOYVIAL is here to help. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be equipped to:
Find peace and calm even in the midst of holiday chaos
Create new family traditions and memories to warm your heart
Make intentional holiday decisions for optimal health and happiness.
Being mindful during the holidays begins with intention. That’s why it’s so important to be conscious of what you’re saying ‘yes’ to, be protective of how you spend your time, and be thoughtful about what goes into your body. If you need help in any of the above-mentioned areas, then keep reading for ways to attain your personal goals.
If your goal is to reduce stress during the holidays:
Then, I recommend making a “Holiday JOY List.”
STEP ONE: Break out your favorite list-making tool, be it a Word Doc, Google Sheet, or traditional paper, and find a quiet place (preferably in front of a cozy fire) to begin mapping out your holiday plans.
STEP TWO: Draft your holiday to-do list and categorize each initiative by ‘Must Do’, ‘Should Do’, and ‘Want To Do’. As you categorize your list, think about the way you will feel experiencing each initiative. Ask yourself, “Will this bring me JOY during the holiday season?” If any items feel heavy in your heart like a “Should Do,” then I recommend ‘really’ sitting with those feelings and consciously deciding if this is a task that needs to be taken off your list or delegated to another family member. Remember, it’s ok to give yourself grace and cut out what does not serve you this holiday season.
STEP THREE: Once you have your list prioritized, schedule the activities into your holiday-themed calendar. And don’t forget to schedule in large chunks of free time. Go ahead and give yourself time to watch your favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, take leisurely trips to the farmers market, and wrap presents together as a family.
But most importantly, remember to prioritize and schedule activities that bring you JOY!
If your goal is to create family memories:
Then, I recommend focusing on experiences over gifts.
In the years to come, your loved ones won’t remember the gifts you gave them, but they will remember the experiences you shared.
VOLUNTEER AS A FAMILY: Nothing shows the holiday spirit like giving back to your community. Count your blessings and show gratitude for all that you have while uplifting others who might be less fortunate. I promise you won’t regret it!
CREATE A NEW FAMILY TRADITION: These traditions can be as easy as wrapping presents together while listening to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas IS YOU,” — or as elaborate as making homemade hot cocoa, grabbing your holiday BPA free roadie cups, and hopping in the car to explore your neighborhood’s lights and decorations. The best house wins a prize! No matter how big or small the experience, the point is to be together.
POOL YOUR MONEY: Instead of gifts, give the gift of your time. Family ice skating excursion? Yes, please! Seeing holiday carolers perform at your local theater? You, betcha! Backyard bonfire with smores, hot chocolate, and yuletide cheer? Let’s do it!
I hope this holiday season, you’ll remember to focus less on gifts and more on making memories.
If your goal is to go through the holidays without gaining 10 pounds:
Then, I recommend being conscious about what you put into your body and who you break cranberry bread with.
PRE-PLAN HOLIDAY DINNERS: This way you control what’s on the menu. Try these helpful ideas:
Planning on meeting friends (or family) at a restaurant? Check out the menu before you go and decide what you'll eat ahead of time. You’ll make better choices when you are not hungry and rushed to make a decision.
Invite friends over and cook vs. going out. JOYVIAL offers simple and quick recipes in our newsletter for all subscribed JOYners.
No time to cook? That’s ok too! Set a Sunday afternoon (or evening) aside to make a list of your favorite clean restaurants or prepackaged meals companies to order from in a pinch.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Keeping your recipes simple, easy, and clean will ensure that you feel (and look) great heading into the new year!
SPREAD OUT YOUR HOLIDAY MEALS: This is the season to be overwhelmed with party invites, so it’s really important to spread out your holiday events. I recommend only having 1-to-2 celebration meals per week. Now, this is not an entire day of celebrating, this is intentionally choosing to give yourself grace at a few holiday meals.
EAT THIS, NOT THAT: Yes, the holidays are sweet, and so is all the sugar we’re inundated with during the season! If you’re trying to make it through the holidays without putting on a few extra pounds, then I recommend trying these holiday substitutions:
Yes, the holidays can be hectic, but they don’t have to be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and will use these tips and tricks to create an intentional, calm, and happy holiday season.
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