Happy Friday and thank you for joining me, Cynthia and Courtney for the Friday Five. The theme this week is staying healthy through the holidays. This is a repeat topic from last year but definitely a timely one as November is nearly half over!! You can check out that post on 5 ways to stay health during the holidays here. It remains one of my most popular and shared posts to date!
Today I took a different approach to the theme, and instead am offering 5 ways to be more present during the holidays. Being present was one of my goals for 2015. Earlier this week I did a goal check in and mentioned my tech free weekends and focus on mindfulness behaviors. I think practicing being more present is an important way to stay stress free and healthy.
Keep a Positive Attitude. The anxiety and stress of the season can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Try to keep a positive attitude about the season and all you might have to do. If you know the stores will be crowded and loud and the parking lot will be packed: give yourself more time; allow yourself to be patient with fellow shoppers; think about all those extra steps you’re getting if you parked too far; hum along to the songs playing overhead. If a fellow shopper or flustered salesperson rubs you the wrong way – simply stop, take a deep breath, count to 5, then move on. Take it all in stride and don’t let anything steal your joy!
Express Gratitude. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to note what you’re thankful for. This is the season when we share more of our time with family and friends so write a list, join a gratitude challenge or just simply wake up and note your gratitude for things big and small to start the day on the right foot.
Make practicing self care FUN! For a runner like me the offseason happens during the winter months. That means more time to enjoy other fitness areas of life. My favorite indoor activities are spinning and strength training but I like trying all sorts of new things. If you aren’t tied to a training schedule why not infuse a fun new workout into your routine?! Take the yoga class you’ve been dying to try or even better, take it to the Spa or get that pedicure you’ve always talked about.
Focus on the Festive! Let’s face it, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a lot of hustle and bustle. Get-togethers, celebrations, shopping, etc can make for a busy time. While all of that can be overwhelming, you can help reduce the stress of the season by using your senses. Savor the smells of a burning fireplace, pine trees, the first snow (sorry, it’s gonna happen!) as well as the taste of your holiday meals. Take in the sounds of the season. Hug your family and friends a little tighter. Simply notice what is going on around you – the creation of memories and hold onto the feelings each moment brings.
Take time for yourself. This might be easier said than done but even 5 minutes a day can make a world of difference. Put the phone down – meditate, pray, take a bath, read a book, walk your errands instead of driving (if they’re not too far of course!) Out and about shopping? Find 10 minutes to visit the nearest coffee shop and just sit, sip and enjoy before picking it back up again.
What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Do you tend to stress during the holidays?