It is that time of year again; the days are getting shorter and the to-do lists are getting longer! With good times ahead, there are so many reasons to celebrate. For some, this time of year can often mean stress lurking behind every celebration. Triggering family dynamics, the expectations of socializing, and the finances of trying to plan and provide the absolute perfect holiday experience for the family can bring about unwanted stress for many.
We all go into this season with the best of intentions and then we are slowly worn down by the long lines, hectic schedules and demands that come with balancing it all.
Let’s do it differently this time so that you and your family can truly enjoy this time of year! It all starts with you taking care of what is most important – YOU! Here are some tips and tricks to get you through the holiday season in a healthier, more balanced way to kick off your new year.
1. Remember your values
Get clear about what is most important to you and return to it often! Maybe it is spending quality time with your family, enjoying some rest and recuperation, or reconnecting with yourself – whatever it may be that will bring you positive energy. Set that intention every single day and look at it when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed to determine if you are behaving in a way that honors that intention.
2. Recognize and respect your limits
You do not have to attend every single party or give the biggest gift to each person on your list. Give yourself permission to examine what you really want to invest your time and energy into and then unapologetically stick to that commitment.
3. Plan ahead and include time for yourself
When there are even more things on your plate than usual, it is easy to let your time management skills break down so that you end up frantically trying to get everything done with no time to do it. Be mindful about your to-do list, look at it realistically, and determine what is most important and plan around those priorities. Recognize that there are likely things on your list that don’t need to be there, take them off and curl up with a good book and hot cup of cocoa instead! Your soul will thank you for the break.
4. Don’t abandon your healthy habits
Not only is this time of year stressful and busy, it is also cold and flu season! Make sure to continue eating healthy, working out regularly and hydrating with water throughout all of those holiday parties on your schedule. It is okay to indulge a little (within moderation, of course) to enjoy this time of year but your body will support you better if you replenish it with what it truly needs to run at its best.
This is a time of year for reflection and gratitude, but we often become blinded by the messages all around us reminding of us of what we don’t have. If you do nothing else this holiday season, take a moment to be present and reflect on all of the things you have to be grateful for. Allow yourself to fully feel your blessings and share them with those you love!
Dr. Kimberly Bertelsen, Psy.D., moved to Colorado to complete her doctoral internship with Jefferson Center in 2013 and fell in love with the Wellness program. She became the Manager of Wellness Services two years ago and has a deep passion for providing holistic services to our clients and community. She earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Counseling in 2009 and her Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Health Psychology in 2014, both from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is currently at work on her certification in Nutritional Psychology and greatly enjoys spending time with her three dogs in her spare time.