Holi-Daze: Staying Sane And Making Them Fun And Memorable
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By Mia Bolaris-Forget
Do you know what I saw the other day, well, actually a few weeks ago? A Christmas tree, in the middle of a mall. Now don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas and the holiday season, but this was during Halloween week. And, while I shouldn’t have been surprised, since the Christmas store in the mall close to my home was open for business by the beginning of September, I was disappointed. Where’s all the buildup, the eager anticipation and the boom for retail businesses that so enthusiastically, in the past, looked forward to Black Friday. But, I’m guessing that by then, most of the quality stuff will have already been sold, and the “only” shoppers left will be those that waited until last minute.
And, along with the holidays being pushed up, so, too, it seems is our anxiety and our stress levels. Already people are hustling and bustling through the malls in frantic frenzies searching for the ideal gift. And, already the service and the merchandise is reflecting the effects of the holiday rush, leaving consumer standing in long lines, stores with attended resisters, service reps with poor dispositions and attitudes and minimal merchandise to choose from as the seasons and the holidays have all been “blended” together.
The impact: Rising prices and rising tempers leaving most of us emotionally angered and drained. And, this is apparently only the beginning.
Still, according to experts, we can make our holidays “traditionally” memorable, magical and enjoyable if we plan for the stress and make a plan for working around it.
Here are some stress-busting strategies to keep you sane and satisfied over the holidays.
1. Make A New Plan Stan: Rather than just rush around, jot down your mission and your intentions for THIS holiday season. Define what you want the season to be about and plan your holidays around your vision. Note whether you’re all about being a sassy social butterfly or about making all about home, family and “intimacy”. Or maybe you’re want a little bit of both. The key is knowing what you want, what to expect and being properly prepared. Start NOW by making notes, especially of your vision, what you think will be fulfilling and how you plan on meeting and exceeding your goals. This will help you focus not only on what YOU have to do, but what you should say “yes” and what you should say “no” to.
2. Make A List And Check It More Than Twice: Jot down all the things that may come up and how declining a few may free up time for others, especially in relation to your preset plan. Keep in mind that while you may want to say “yes” to it all, saying “no” is actually allowing to say “yes” to other obligations or opportunities that will leave you less stressed and make it easy for you to enjoy the holidays.
3. Make It A Delicious Experience: Working, then running around hardly leaves you any time for a relaxing repast, be it lunch or dinner, and it’s also likely that the things you are “craving” are NOT what you should be eating, especially as you prepare for your upcoming string of holiday parties. Still, skipping or skimping on meals say experts can do you more harm then good. In fact, they are likely to turn your “elf-like” efforts more into a Mr. Scrooge mood. Besides going all day without food will often lead to overeating, and that’s the last thing you want when you’ve managed to squeeze into that holiday dress. Experts suggest taking a time out from the holiday hustle and bustle to enjoy a hot cup of coffee, a steamy cup of soup or a “leisurely”, but healthy meal. This will not only fill you up but boost your energy and your immune system for all you still have to do.
4. Exercise Your Options: Exercise is a great stress buster and an ideal way to do something for you for the holidays. Try to carve out an hour a day or at least every other day for some fitness, including cardio, strength training and/or yoga (you’ll need it) for helping your keep a clear body and mind for all the holiday hoopla you’re going to encounter.
5. Put Yourself On The Priority List: Know how much time and energy you have to devote to the holidays and try to stick to that schedule and limit. If you push too hard it’s likely you’ll burn yourself out and take all the fun out of the holidays. Even if you need to sit down for a coffee or tea for just 15 or 20 minutes to recharge or incorporating a mani/pedi into your shopping sojourn, it’s imperative to do something nice for you.
6. Start Keeping Tabs: Not only on what you purchased and how much you spent, but also on what you consumed and how much. Holiday time makes it easy to put on a few pounds as we dart from store to store eating almost any finger food we can get our hands on. Experts suggest keeping a log to help you keep track of what you consume and see how you can improve it.
7. Drink To Your Mental Health: Feeling relaxed can often be a challenge especially during the holidays as many of us push ourselves to the limit, getting up early and going to bed late, trying to squeeze it all in. But, without a good night’s sleep we can hardly keep up this pace or feel good about what we are trying to do. Experts suggest winding down for the night with a cup of hot chamomile or a hot bath about an hour before you head for bed.
8. Energize With Vitamins: Experts suggest eating well but also taking a multivitamin to make sure that you are giving your body enough zinc and vitamin C to help it fight viruses and bacteria during this special and hectic season.
9. Tune In To Internal Signals: All that walking around and standing can be good for you, but it can also take its toll. Make sure you listen to the message your body is sending you and try to give yourself a break every few hours. For aching feet experts suggest keeping a water bottle in the freezer and while sitting, rolling it across the length of your foot a few times before switching feet.
10. Make Time For Just The Two Of You: Perhaps you sweetie isn’t into shopping but try to get him involved by turning it into a romantic evening. Consider allowing him to mill about while you shop, then meeting him for a steamy cup of coffee and perhaps picking out something “steamy” from the lingerie lounge, having a “hot” dinner, and a “hot” date afterward. Remember, while some of the shopping and holiday hustle and bustle may be fun for you, it’s important to make it fun for him too.
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