December is a crazy month for everyone. Between preparing the holidays, cards, parties, decorations, life can quickly get away from us. And good habits that we have the rest of the year can quickly fall by the wayside.
And those get togethers add up…you know that feeling beginning of the year where you say, gosh I feel yucky, bloated, lacking energy ?
Well this year I made a conscious effort to do things differently, and anticipate, so that when January 1st rolls around, I wouldn’t have to say that to myself.
Here are a few of the things I did to make it through the holiday season (relatively) unscathed :
- I anticipate presents, and got most of what I wanted in November. Early November. Stores are never out of stock.
- This also allows you to go to stores to browse in December, enjoy the music and decorations, knowing your shopping is all done.
2. Say no
- I do not accept all invitations and only go to those parties or events that I really want to. With my husband’s company we got tickets to go to a great show this year. I gave up my ticket and my daughter got to bring a friend. The show didn’t interest me and it would have meant spending half a day Sunday away from home.
- I helped out with the Christmas fair at school because I am part of the PTA and we had a get together afterwards. I went because I wanted to and I got to visit with people whom I do not see often.
- I love holiday cards and do them every year. Which I try to anticipate in October or November ! But I changed jobs this year, and travelled, and thus didn’t get around to it. So no holiday cards this year, and that’s ok.
3. Make time for myself
- My ” me time” is my exercise. I am still doing some kind of activity 3 to 4 days a week, like the rest of the year. I might have to get up earlier one day, or cut a workout a little short, but a small workout is better than nothing.
4. Tweak my diet
- I limited my alcohol. I love a glass of wine with weekend meals, but I figured between meals and parties, the calories were going to add up. So I said in December, no alcohol until Christmas.
- Limit sugar and chocolate. In France this time of year we are SURROUNDED by chocolate. And I love chocolate, and its so hard to eat just one. We got several boxes already as gifts, so instead of having 2 (or 3 or 4) in the evenings, if I wanted one, I tucked it away and will keep a few for January.
- I have actually lost a couple pounds and have no stomach bloat ! (which is even more motivation)
5. Avoid stressors
- Avoid stores at peak times. I took a day off from work during the week at the start of the month to finish a couple last minute things, or I am there when the stores open early. But no.way.in.hell. do I go on a Saturday afternoon in December to a mall.
- Limit number of presents we give. We usually draw names between my husband’s siblings and nieces and nephews. That is 3 or 4 additional presented I need to get. This year we decided not to. Not only does it save me money, but it also meant I did not have to go looking or find an idea.
- My husband planned the Christmas meal
- My kids did most of the tree
- And everyone in my household is expected to pitch in and always do their part… litter box, dishwasher, laundry, picking up the table.
And don’t forget quality time with loved ones. I spent a day cooking with my daughter last weekend :
Christmas is in five days and I am feeling really good.
How do you make it through the season ? Any tips to share ?