The holidays are known for being one of the most hectic times of the year. Even if our schedules start to get increasingly busier starting around mid-November, it doesn’t mean that we have to suffer mentally. There may be more parties and tighter work deadlines (and waistbands), but there are ways to keep your head well above water and also have time to participate in your favourite holiday traditions.
It’s so easy for things to get double-booked or forgotten when the holiday season rolls around. One way to avoid adding extra stress to your already busy life is to create a schedule to help manage your time. Once a week sit down and schedule all your regular activities, including work, school, exercise, appointments - even grocery shopping. Once you have everything laid out in front of you, it will easier to see when you have free time to spend attending parties, baking cookies or doing a little holiday shopping.
The holidays are full of visiting, parties and hitting deadlines before taking some time off. It’s easy to let our personal time slip away when we’re trying to fit everything and everyone in at the last minute. But we’re just as important - if not the most important - and need to make the same effort for ourselves as we do for others. Take some time every day (you can pencil it into your schedule even) to go to a yoga class, meditate, read, or have a hot bath - whatever it is that you need to feel grounded. Once you notice your stress levels going down, you’ll be sure to stick to this routine of self-love everyday - even once the holidays are over.
You don’t need to be a hero during the holidays. Invitations are flying at us left, right and centre, and sometimes it’s just too much. We can feel guilty or let our egos get in the way, allowing ourselves to believe that the party won’t happen without us. Losing our heads is just as bad, if not worse, than taking on too much and having to cancel last minute. Instead of agreeing to attend every party or function, even if it’s just for 15 minutes to say ‘hello,’ allow yourself to turn down an invitation or two. Believe it or not, the party will go on without you, and you will feel a little less overwhelmed without another event to pencil into your planner.
It can be overwhelming at times to have so many people coming and going during the holidays and it can become difficult to fit in our regular fun activities. But just because you have visitors, or are the visitor yourself, doesn’t mean you all have to sit around the house all day! Find the schedule to your local yoga studio and take a class together, or search when the farmers market is open so you can pick up some fresh produce and make a lovely meal together. After all, the holidays are about spending quality time together (while also managing to keep your cool).
What better time of year to spend some time outside than the winter, with all the fresh falling snow and crisp air? Well, yes, the summer may be more desirable for some, but don’t let a few snowflakes deter you from getting outside. Winter is a great time to try a new outdoor activity, like snowshoeing, skating or skiing. The fresh air will help to calm you down and the exercise will release feel-good endorphins. We even hear that building snowmen is a great upper body workout.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you and your mental health are top priority and it’s okay to let a few things go in order to maintain that. Take care of yourself and everything else will work out the way it is meant to this holiday season.
Happy Holidays from Team Inner Fire
Photo Credit Sukha Yoga Photos
By Inner Fire Luminary Chrystal Pearl
It was September 7, 2016. I had been working with a therapist for a few months to help me steer my way through some roadblocks. The discussion topic for this particular day was mission and creation.