Be Your Best This Holiday Season

How to Be Your Best This Holiday Season

While the holiday season is often associated with joy, togetherness, love and celebration, it is also often a time of hustle and bustle that can cause us to miss out on some of the joy this season has to bring. It can also mean not being our best selves. (Anyone else ever been short with a loved one while you were trying to accomplish an extra holiday responsibility? I know I have.)

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can enjoy our holidays to the fullest while still showing up as our best selves and with more presence. Here are some practical suggestions to help you make the most of this time of year:

  1. Start with gratitude. Begin each day with a heart full of gratitude (and it doesn’t have to be just during the Thanksgiving season). You’ve probably heard that gratitude is one of the best ways to reset your mind, but do you actually take the time to think about all that you have to be thankful for? Each morning, write down three things that you are thankful for. This can be on a sheet of paper, in your journal, or on a board in your home or office. If your children or grandchildren are at home, this can also be a great opportunity to create a family gratitude board where everyone writes down something they’re grateful for each day leading up to the holidays or new year.
  2. Seek moments of solitude. Jesus made it a priority to get away from the crowds so he could spend time with his Father. When life is busy, moments with God are even more important. You may not be able to get away for hours, so it may mean that you have to experience solitude right where you are. Enjoy the quiet while taking a shower. When driving by yourself in the car, don’t crank up the radio or make a call; use the space to feel God’s presence. These can be times to sit quietly with Him, or you can even use these moments to pray and talk with God.
  3. Organize and plan ahead. Maybe this seems counterproductive to you for enjoying the holidays, but creating a flexible schedule for your holiday plans can actually help you reduce stress and allocate time efficiently. Write out a rough list of all the festivities and obligations you currently have planned - this means everything from decorating your Christmas tree to your town’s tree lighting ceremony to the Christmas shows at school and church. Now that you have your list made, write it out on a calendar. Having a visual aid of all your plans this season can help you figure out what things you actually need and want to do, and what things should maybe be changed or removed from your routine this year. Creating a tentative and flexible schedule can help you set realistic expectations during the holidays that bring more presence and less stress.
  4. Simplify your celebrations. Amidst the flurry of holiday preparations, think of ways you can scale back. I know it can be difficult to cut back on obligations and traditions, but sometimes it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones. Maybe you don’t send Christmas cards to your long list (truth be told I quit doing this about 12 years ago and I’ve never felt the need to add it back). Your gifts don’t have to be wrapped perfectly (I love using gift bags because they’re so easy). Maybe you only put up half of your holiday decorations. I love to entertain in my home, but what makes things more enjoyable is asking people to bring a dish for the meal. And, if they offer to help clean up, I accept their help. Where can you accept help this holiday season?
  5. Maintain healthy habits. Don't let the holiday season derail your healthy habits, and this is where planning out your season can be extra helpful. Ensure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet (you can refer back to week one for more tips on how to avoid unhealthy eating habits this holiday season), and ask for help when you need it. Not only is getting in what movement you can great for your body, exercise can also be a powerful stress reliever. In fact, taking care of your physical health contributes to a positive mindset and more energy, which can help you tackle holiday demands. These can be helpful tools to maintain a robust lifestyle during the holidays and throughout the year.
  6. Make the most of a moment. During this busy time of the year you may not get as much time for yourself or one-on-one time with your loved ones. When you do have a moment, make it count. Children aren’t the only ones who can be glued to their screens – don’t spend this special time scrolling through social media, put away electronic devices, engage in meaningful conversations, and savor the moments of togetherness.

In a world that often asks you to present a perfect holiday, I would urge you to reflect and ask yourself what actually matters most to you this season. It’s probably not the pretty table settings and making sure you post that funny, perfectly-posed picture on Facebook. What I imagine is most important to you, since you’ve been part of this 4-week series all about being healthy during the holidays, is showing up and enjoying these moments with loved ones in the best way you can. 

I hope this series has been an encouragement to you, and that you’ll use the tips we’ve discussed the past four weeks to actually create a holiday plan that helps you sustain healthy habits, brings you more joy, and allows you to focus more on Jesus and your loved ones during this time of year.

CLICK HERE to download you FREE Healthy Holidays Ebook.

 

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