*Photo Credit: Real Simple – another great article re: holiday stress
I was browsing through some of my older blogs today and came across an article I wrote for my blog and Red Tricycle a few years ago. The concept was a letter to myself over the holidays, a reminder that I actually do enjoy the holidays as long as I don’t over do it. While I am not planning on doing another Whole 30 at the new year and our dog is much more mellow now, I thought I would repost it here because most of it is a great reminder as Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches…
Around mid-November every year I start to get a little anxious about the holiday season. Maybe it is the massive amount of family birthdays that fall during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, possibly it is the consumerism that is blown overboard in the world around us and likely it could be due to the overscheduling that comes in the upcoming two months. But this year I am vowing to take a different approach to the holidays and for Red Tricycle this week I have written myself a letter to remind myself of how I would like to participate and enjoy the holiday festivities this year.
Letter to myself over the holidays: (November 16th, 2016)
I know this is a crazy time of year for you, but I want you to remember a few important things as this holiday season approaches. Even though this time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very busy and you have eight family birthdays (including your own) starting before Thanksgiving and ending mid-January, try and remember why we celebrate – you are grateful for your amazing family, you feel blessed to have so many people around you to celebrate with and don’t forget that every day with these people is a blessing.
Yes, the kids are constantly asking for the new toy or drone or giga ball, but instead of getting frustrated with their desire for more things, find the joy in your children’s excitement and love for celebrating the holidays.
Even when you get tired and worn out, don’t forget traditions, (cutting down the tree, Advent calendar, Santa Brunch, making holiday candy and gifts), remind the kids of what you did when you were young and remember that these are going to be their memories, make them happy ones. You don’t want their memories to be of a burnt out, cranky, stressed mom.
I know you spent a year trying to downsize and minimize your belongings – but this year the girls are excited to get toys and presents without size restrictions – embrace this excitement and try to purchase gifts within reason.
Enjoy the first Christmas with your crazy puppy, get a new stocking for him, find fun gifts for the furry monster – he can’t have too many toys and he will love it. Managing the Christmas tree will be a challenge but he’ll love it too and it’s worth it. It will be a different year for sure, but it will also be a fun one and one you will remember forever.
Take time to get out of the city and into nature. Nature fills your cup, even if it’s just to the local park for an hour or 2 get out, recharge and remember what you are grateful for. Along with getting outside, plan your activities ahead of time, mark the calendar for down days and family only days. These are the days that bring you joy and will make you happy.
Take care of yourself. Take a hot bath every so often, go to bed early and watch bad TV (i.e. RELAX). Make time to exercise, try and eat right and not splurge on EVERY special occasion. Plan on restarting the Whole 30 the first week of January to renew – don’t forget how great you felt the last time you had focus and really stuck to the program.
Give back. You are so fortunate to have family and friends that love you, don’t forget about the people that have less than you. Even though this can be a hectic time of year, make time to give back to others. Helping at Solid Ground has made you feel so inspired and proud, continue to work with people in need and get the kids involved too so they remember it’s not just about them. Comfort packs are always a great way to give to those in need and find other activities that will remind you all about how fortunate you are, while helping others at the same time.
Last thing to remember, the holidays are at time for joy and cheer, there is no need to stress about gifts and social engagements. Do things that bring you joy, don’t do things that drain you. The girls will get all the gifts they need and whatever they get will be enough. As long as you are relaxed and enjoying the season and the people around you, you will have a wonderful holiday season!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
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