Hopefully, you were able to take an inventory after Part 1 of this series, and maybe reduced a few things in your busy holiday life. What I want to talk about today are the important things that you do want to make sure you have in your life, to achieve more peace and balance during the holiday season, and into the new year!
3 things to make sure to do
1. Eat, drink (water) and be merry sleep!
So, the holidays tend to be a time of overeating and not enough sleep. You must make healthier eating, drinking water, and rest a priority for yourself, and for those in your family who you have influence over.
I am not saying you cannot have lots of yummy goodies during this time! I am saying to be sure and balance it out with healthier eating the rest of the time. Want to have some of the Christmas cookies brought into the office? Enjoy two cookies, but don’t turn around and eat a Big Mac for lunch! Have a salad with grilled chicken. Balance out your food choices. Will it weigh out perfectly? No, but you will feel better for it.
Drinking water should be a priority at all times. Most Americans are mildly dehydrated on a regular basis. Many times the fatigue and foggy headedness are just because you haven’t drank enough water. Maybe you don’t need another cup of coffee, maybe you need a big glass of water!
Drinking water will benefit many things during this busy season. Wards off the fatigue. Helps you feel full to keep you from overeating on Christmas goodies. Will help keep your system regulated and ward off constipation. And it is good for your skin!
Sleep, ahh, glorious sleep! This is one that many can never seem to find the time to get enough of!
I know that you have priorities and children and housework,etc, but you HAVE to make the CHOICE that sleep will take a priority. Talk with those closest to you and explain that you want to get in bed an hour earlier and ask for their help. My oldest daughter has 6 children, ages 2-10. Her kids have a 7:30 bedtime, even the 10 year old. This gives her some time to get some things done in peace and quiet, time to unwind with her husband, and the chance to get in bed by 10 pm or so.
It is difficult to catch up on missed sleep, but try your best to fit in some rest times, or take a quick nap if needed.
2. do the things you enjoy and your family enjoys
This goes back to looking at the family traditions you have in your house. What things do you or your kids look forward to? Going to a tree farm? Cutting down a tree? Decorating it together while playing Christmas music? Or, is that part not such a major deal to your family? As our kids have gotten older, we don’t cut a tree anymore, my hubby and I make the decision which tree to get (much easier than 3 or 4 kids opinions!) and then my youngest daughter decorates, and sometimes I help.
It is okay for traditions to change if they don’t serve you and your family anymore. Our extended family has, for years, always met on Christmas Day at 2 pm. As the children had children, it became increasingly more stressful to get all the little family units together on Christmas Day, so we moved it to the day after Christmas for now. It will depend on the day it falls on each year.
Examine your traditions and see which ones bring you joy, and eliminate that are just being done out of habit!
3. Give of ourselves
It is important for me and my husband to give to those who are less fortunate. We have been blessed beyond measure and so many have nothing. We started attending a church early this year that does some awesome things for the community. One of those things that we got to participate in was Shop with a Hero. At-risk kids are partnered with police, fire or military personnel (male as that is usually one thing missing in these kids lives) as well as a Mom-type personal shopping assistant. This was held at the local Walmart, with a huge heated tent with goodies and storytelling and singing and face-painting, and more! The officer was given a $100 gift card to shop with the child, helping them to pick out gifts for family members or even things for themselves. We had wrappers who would then wrap the kids gifts while they enjoyed hot chocolate and goodies! This was such an awesome time, to see these kids who come from broken homes having so much fun buying for their siblings and their mothers!
Shop with a Hero is just one of the ways we can give. Look in your community for ways to help. Ask your local church if they know of someone in need that you may be able to bless, even anonymously. Find a way to give to those less fortunate and it always helps you to put your life in perspective!
If you’d like to see more of what Shop with a Hero is like, a recap video of this year is below!