This time of year, from the end of November to the New Year, can be hectic and stressful. For many people it can be downright depressing and for others, it may be fun and joyful, but also quite unhealthy due to all the eating, drinking, and lack of time to exercise and relax.
Whatever the case is for you, the “holidays” can be a special, fun, joyful and memorable time of year for just about anyone. It just requires the proper perspective, preparation, and some relatively simple tips to make it that way.
So, first, to start in the right direction, read the early holiday blog post from October 9th. It will provide the big picture perspective which can help anyone prepare better for the holiday season.
Then, come back and read this article to continue the process.
goal for this entire holiday series (yes, there are more articles and blog
posts to come through the New Year) - is to have the happiest, least stressful, and most fulfilling
holiday season possible - and ultimately a truly happy life.
Did you download the “Holiday Happiness Planner” provided in the October blog post? If not, do it now so you’ll have a template to guide you through the season more smoothly.
Once you have it – and have completed it – let’s get a bit more specific and begin using it to organize the most important things on your schedule for the next couple of weeks - the parties, the commitments, the events, your budget, your eating and exercise program, etc. And, it’s important to schedule some down time as well, because we all need time to rejuvenate – especially during the holidays. So schedule it. Don’t skip it. Make time to take a walk, watch a movie, or read a book. Just 30 minutes every day or two can help. It’s important to just “chill out”.
Another thing not to neglect is your exercise plan. Again, this must not be
sacrificed during the holidays. Not only does exercise reduce the potential
weight gain many people experience during the holiday “feeding frenzy”, but it
also acts to reduce stress and energize your body. It’s best not to count this
as part of your “down time”, but every once in a while it’s okay to do so –
especially if you really love exercising.
Finally – and this must be the last thing you schedule – plan your other activities, like shopping, cooking, and cleaning. If you do this first, you will likely not find the time for your exercise plan or your down time (which are essential for the happiest holiday season).
At the risk of stereotyping, if you’re a mom, you may bear much of the brunt of the holiday craziness. So check out this article I found called Scheduling Secrets for Holiday Happiness. It's a good article to read even if you're not a mom.
Now, before we get to your plan, let me say that – regardless of how many things you have going on in your life during this time of year and how many obligations you have - just realize one thing ... the holidays will come and go, just like every year. It’s up to you to enjoy the process. Don’t waste it. Don’t spend this holiday season (or any for that matter) stressed or depressed. You’ll never get this time of your life back. Everything that matters most will get done. Especially if you have your plan completed – and follow it. And even if everything doesn’t get done, it’s not the end of the world. The most important thing to experience is the meaningful connection with those we love and the realization of how many things we can appreciate in our lives, regardless of the circumstances. Take the time to reflect on this everyday. Use the Three Great Things exercise discussed here at BeHappy101.com.
Now, take out your holiday planner. Look through everything you wrote down. And if you didn’t fill it out, do it now. Take an hour or so to get it done. One hour now will save you many hours later (and probably lots of frustration and anxiety).
Here are some quick tips to help you follow your plan most effectively:
These are some basic
tips for managing your time and emotions during the holiday season. Use your
plan. Be organized in your approach. Prioritize and be selective about your
activities. Don’t neglect your exercise regimen. Stick to your eating plan.
Take time to rejuvenate.
In the next part of this series, we’ll take a bigger step towards some ideas to ensure the positive things on your list far overpower the negative things you wrote down in the first part of this "holiday happiness" series. We'll talk about things like:
BeHappy! my friends
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