Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Monday, November 28, 2016

5 Tips to Keep You From Being Exhausted By the Holidays

The holidays can be draining. Can I get an amen? From the endless stream of invitations, parties, and family squabbles, the holidays are definitely a high-demand period. If we're not careful, we will end up exhausted and depleted making us prime territory for the winter flu and cold bug.

As each year has come and gone, I have made small but significant changes to stay happy, healthy, and at peace into the New Year. I have learned techniques to handle the demands of the season and my relatives so today, I am going to share some of them with you.

Tip #1: Choose activities carefully. 
Sometimes we can get in the habit of doing the same thing year after year after year. It becomes routine and loses it's joy. When this happens, it is time to let that activity go to make space for something new. There are so many delightful events this time of year, why be bored by the same old thing? Here are some ideas we've tried and enjoyed:
      - find a local church and attend their musical holiday production
      - get tickets to the Nutcracker and enjoy the dancing and music of Tchaikovsky
      - take in a performance at the Mormon Temple in Washington, DC
There are so many invites so I take my time making a commitment. I don't say "yes" right off the bat without considering what else is going on. For example, I typically say no to anything that is not Christmas-related during the month of December. I want to give my time and energy to celebrating the season. I have the entire rest of the year to do other things. I also want to pick the best activities, not just any activity to fill up the calendar.

Tip #2: Minimize exposure to energy-suckers. 
These people often seem pleasant enough at first. Then you begin to see the signs.
They chatter incessantly.
They are drama queens.
They thrive on relating negative stories from the past.
They are emotionally reactive and easily offended.
They like to be the center of attention.

When I encounter one of these types of people, I run. Energy-suckers can be male or female so be on guard. If you get home and realize you are drained, you probably were in the presence of an energy-sucker.

Tip #3: Maintain a regular exercise routine. 
I know the holidays are extra busy and time is limited but do not neglect a short workout of some sort. When it's too chilly to walk outside, I take a brisk walk in the hallways of my complex. Even a short walk can defuse stress and help clear the mind. Go for a run. Take a different group exercise class. Lots of fitness places offer discounts this time of year so take advantage. Just be sure to wash your hands when you get home.

Tip #4:  Don't overcommit. 
It's so tempting to say "yes" to every invite, every party, and every get-together. The problem is most commitments take more time and energy than we estimate. If we are bringing a food item or a gift this all takes time. Women have to figure out what to wear, do the nails, hair, etc. I used to do back-to-back activities and I was proud of it, believe it or not. Then I learned. It's too much.  There are always extra factors that add to the stress of an activity such as traffic, parking, cold weather, people missing their flight, etc. Allow extra time for any given activity. This is called "margin" and is useful in everyday life. Don't be like I was, trying to pack so much into any given day. Slow down, enjoy the event and allow yourself enough time to breathe.

Tip #5: Make time for solitude. 
This is a personal biggy. I need solitude! After a long day of people, I need to be alone. People wear me out. It is important to quiet our minds and just be with ourselves. We can curl up in a favorite chair with a book, take a hot bath, or just turn off the phone and the tv and enjoy a quiet house. It is a gift we give to ourselves. If you're not comfortable being alone, give it a try for maybe just a half an hour. You'll be surprised how good you will feel when you disconnect.

Okay, so these are my 5 holiday tips on how not to end up exhausted by the holidays. Give them a try and write and let me know what tips you use to stay energized and at peace.

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Until next time, be happy and keep the joy flowing!