If there was ever a time to perfect your tightrope walking skills, it’s the holidays. More specifically, the week before Christmas! The gift-giving season should leave you in a harmonious and generous mindset, but too often it’s a major source of stress.
The goals for balance and a healthier lifestyle that you made at the beginning of the last year don’t have to be set aside to endure the holidays. Stay mindful and achieve balance during this very special and sometimes hectic week by focusing on strategies for personal self-care:
Call Upon a Nurturing Network
Set goals to allow yourself to simply enjoy the holiday weekend and remain balanced with a supportive loved one, who needs this as much as you do. You’ll check in, hold each other accountable and share wisdom to remain empowered.
Surrounding yourself with at least one person who supports you, and all you’ve been doing, will keep you sane and focused on maintaining a balanced mindset. Think of your nurturing network as the supportive net below you, that will catch you if you fall from the tightrope.
Listen to Your Body and Keep Up its Routine
It’s especially important to listen to what your body needs during this week. Stress will first show up in your posture and your body language when you communicate with others. Are your shoulders stiff? Is your posture relaxed? Are you gritting your teeth?
Are you eating your emotions? Do your best to include healthy snacks in your daily routine. Choose nutrient-dense foods when your willpower is at its height. Did you skip your wind-down routine before bed? What about your fitness routine? Keep to your sleep schedule.
Stick to healthy routines, if you haven’t already, but be flexible. Don’t be too hard on yourself — that won’t do any good for anyone! Give yourself time between parties and obligations. Take your fitness routine on the road, and get your work out in between events. True balance requires flexibility as much as it requires discipline.
Honor “Me” Time
Engaging with multiple people for hours at a time over the course of several days wears the most social of extroverts out. It might be at Christmas parties, work related gatherings, cookie exchanges or last minute shopping. It’s exhausting. Know what your boundaries are and stick with them!
The most neglected and disrespected boundary during the holidays is self-care. It’s positive and healthy to take time for yourself, to take things slowly, to breathe in the middle of holiday chaos. You have to make time for yourself during the week before Christmas. There’s no other way. Assert your need for personal and physical space to recharge. Do things for yourself, whether that’s meditating, drinking a cup of hot chocolate or sneaking away from the relatives for an hour.
Achieving balance during the week before Christmas is imperative to enjoy the generous nature of the season. Be generous to yourself, with your time and your awareness. Stick to healthy routines. Take time for yourself when you need it. Sometimes, that means being a little flexible and creative with navigating the holiday tightrope. Stay balanced with the help of a nurturing network of family and friends, and give yourself permission to indulge in self-care and fun.
Forget obligation and expectation. Be accountable to both yourself and others. Give to yourself and others from a harmonious place of joy — truly excited, and not stressed, to share time with loved ones this holiday season.