Brimming with shopping, decorating, parties, celebrations, and endless errands that go with making it all happen, the holidays can be fraught with over indulgence and exhaustion. Many of us stretch ourselves too thin and it shows. I found myself in that situation, this time last year, and ended up in the Emergency Room. This year I'm taking a more balanced and thoughtful approach and I'm sharing my 5 secrets to being your best self for the holidays.
Plan ahead - I use my online master calendar for logging appointments, parties and even prep time for events. I note gifts or food items that I need to prep ahead of time directly on the calendar. I've even organized my closet so that I have several 'holiday looks' pulled together and ready to wear on short notice. This year I planned ahead so that our family photo was snapped just before we all sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. The next day it was easy to upload the photo and order our holiday cards. If I hadn't studied my master calendar, and planned for it, our photo simply wouldn't have happened on that day and we would have been scrambling. I love hosting holiday parties for colleagues and family, so planning is essential. By calendaring events, and preparation time for events, I have a better picture of what my real life schedule will be. I keep in mind time for my husband and myself to connect, especially since he has some travel on the schedule. Remember, it's okay to say 'No Thank You ' when your calendar is full to overflowing. I think we innately know what we need to do to keep ourselves functioning at our best.
Stock up - If you have a specific item that you love, chances are some of your gift receivers will love it too. I just made a large purchase of one of my favorite items (here-shhhh don't tell) for some of my giftees. It's a product I love and I know they will too. I have a gift closet stocked with boxes, bags, wrap, ribbons and tape, always ready for a seamless wrap job. I've had a well-stocked gift closet for years, well before I launched my Stylemindchic e-Boutique. I even keep a few wrapped gifts available for a last-minute gift or hostess gift. When I was out shopping for Thanksgiving groceries I purchased some of the staples I knew we would want to have on hand for Christmas entertaining. That favorite spicy cider, marcona almonds, dried fruit, spiced nuts and Belgian chocolates are all residing in my pantry waiting patiently for holiday festivities.
Northern California Style Blog (Love the tub!)
Take time for self-care - As a school psychologist and online business owner/lifestyle blogger, I find this time of year to be extra hectic. It's easy to burn the candle at both ends, and then everything suffers. I'm keeping regular bedtime, and going to bed earlier than usual if I feel I need more rest. I'm stocking up on healthy food items to balance the sweets and party fare. I have mostly given up sweets and sugar this fall, which has been a great thing for my health, but I know the Christmas holidays will be a challenge. Though I indulged in sweets on Thanksgiving, I gave the pies away at the end of the day so I wasn't tempted to nosh on pecan pie for breakfast with coffee (the beginning of a downhill slide for me ;). You may be tempted to skip that monthly massage or spa time, but it's really a good idea to keep up the routine, even if it's creating a home spa afternoon like I do. Now that colder temps have arrived I'm re-enamoured with my spa bath tub. The ritual of bathing is not only good clean fun, but the relaxation and self-care aspect is very healthy. It's the perfect way to wind down, free our minds and de-stress. I'm intrigued by Garance Dore and her bath rituals here. Consistent self-care routines help us focus on how we want to feel, which supports better choices in regards to food, drink and exercise (remember that over indulgence I mentioned?).
Give - We all have that list of 'must-dos' during the season. The holiday cards, the professional gift list, the 'wish list' of family members, etc. I'm thinking of reaching out, farther than our traditional lists, and giving in a way that will surprise, comfort or delight someone in need. It may be a struggling neighbor, a stranger on the street, or a friend who is grieving a loss. You will know it when the time is right. For me, collaborating with Upgraded Living Magazine on makeovers for deserving recipients during the season, has been an inspiration and a meaningful way to give back each year. Reach out, it can be as simple as a kind word, a thoughtful note, a surprise coffee, or a gift from the heart. In the end, as I'm sure you know, this kind of giving is the biggest gift to the giver.
It's Enough! - I have a secret to tell you...enough really is enough. YOU are enough, you've done enough, that gift is enough, it's all enough......Now sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy the glow of that beautiful tree you've created. #it's enough
P.S. I'm excited about the fantastic response to the $50 Gift Card + Savvy Sleepers Luxe Satin Pillowcase! The giveaway ends Saturday night at midnight. You can still enter to win or share on social media for additional entries. Thank you for shopping with me. It's always fun to give back!
Cheers to you and the season!
The Gift Collection at here!