With the holiday season quickly approaching, you CAN have the best holiday ever, even in these stressful times. Get back to what it means to celebrate an old fashioned holiday before it became all about the expenses, excess and the shopping malls, with a little holiday S.P.I.R.I.T:
Save: With the decline of the economy, be financially smart and savvy during the holiday season. Create gift ideas for friends and family in an economically friendly way, by getting crafty. There are lots of ideas at your local craft shop or to save time, you can search the Internet. This year agree to only buy gifts for the kids in the family.
Share: Money isn’t everything, so spend time with your loved ones. Find places to bond and create memories during the holiday season. Take pictures of these cheerful moments and use them for a scrapbook or homemade picture frame. These gifts will pass the test of time and mean more than any material item. The thought is always what counts, so use this philosophy when thinking about your loved ones and come out on top with a little extra cash in your pocket.
Secret Santa: Choose one member of your family or one coworker to buy for this year. Not only will you save but also you will have the time to really think about that person and their interests. It is also fun because of the element of surprise.
Personal Time: During the hectic holiday season, it is even more important to set aside a few moments for yourself. Put “me time” in your schedule and stick to it. This can be as simple as meditating before bed, taking a few deep breaths at tough times, getting enough sleep and of course keeping a positive outlook. Stress is the number one killer and to fight it we must think about our sanity and try to put aside all the holiday craziness to re-center the mind, body, and soul.
Possibilities: Take a moment to look forward to the year ahead and see the possibilities in all facets of your life. Dream big! Write down those dreams and possibilities and then take action to make them a reality.
Indulgences: The holiday season is notorious for office treats and crazy calories coming from every direction. Do not fret! You can beat the bulge this season with a little planning ahead. Pick one night when you allow for a splurge but limit the other nights to healthy good for you options. Stress at the holidays often causes us to overeat and drink too much…doing this actually causes more stress for the body! Remember, you are in control of your choices.
Reach Out: Through all the indulgence that comes with the holiday season, there is also the perfect opportunity to reach out to those less fortunate. Taking time to help those in need is fulfilling in more ways than one. It can center the heart and re-focus the philosophy of the holiday times. Volunteer at a shelter, or bring Christmas joy to the elderly. However you decide, the rewards of reaching out will surely erase any Bah Humbug of the upcoming holiday season!
Reconnect: It has been a tough year for most of us. It is hard to stay insulated from all of the negative energy. Make the time to reconnect with old friends that you haven’t spoken to or seen in a while. Make time to spend a little one on one time with a family member. Most importantly reconnect with what’s important in our lives, our health and our relationships.
Invest in your Health: Yes, it’s a fact- many us gain a few inches over the holidays. If you do find yourself in an over-bought calorie situation, don’t stress, just invest a little extra time to your health! Walking is one of the best exercises and it is cost effective, play with your kids, put up the Christmas tree or decorate the house. All of these activities will burn those extra holiday calories.
Thankful: If you find yourself hearing that negative inner voice, stop and take a moment and make a mental list of the things in your life that you are thankful for.
Counting your blessings each day is good for the soul.
Talk: Share your feelings and memories of past holidays and times spent with loved ones. Talking about your feelings around the holidays, and in general, is a great way to free them from your mind, and can be a gift to those with whom you are sharing.
Take Action: Last but not least, make this next year great! Take action! Don’t just dream about, do it! Don’t like it, change it! Make everyday count! Get into the spirit of healthy thinking. A positive mental attitude is your most powerful tool to get you through the additional stress of the holidays.