After nearly two weeks, I’ve shed my severe jet lag and am back to “normal.” For me, though, “normal” tends to look a little something like this:
Not only am I diving back into both my business and my full-time job, we are now in the thick of the holiday season (which also tends to make me feel like a bit of a headless chickie).
Rather than give you an inspirational, feel-good quote this week, I thought I’d source out to my fellow WordPressers for a few tips on how to stress less and enjoy the holidays more.
WODPrincess focuses on health and fitness in her ‘How to Survive the Holidays‘ post but ties it into a neat little package with one simple rule: HAVE A PLAN. There’s a reason we haven’t done away with day-timers and calendars: we like to be organized. If you can anticipate when your binge nights (i.e., Christmas parties) will be, you can better prepare yourself by scheduling in physical activity and meal planning. Load up on quinoa, lean meats and salads during the week so you can enjoy a guilt-free, carb-loaded turkey dinner with a glass (or three) of red wine on the weekend.
2. Adventures in Cemetery Hopping
Traci’s “Ho Ho NO!” post is an honest, beautiful piece of writing about her own story of loss and a series of truthful tips on managing the Christmas dread so many of us will feel this time of year. I really liked her third tip: IT’S OKAY TO GO INTO SURVIVAL MODE UNTIL JANUARY. Our December calendars seem to fill up without us even trying and sometimes just the thought of being social can prompt paralyzing anxiety. If you need to take a night off, do it. (On the flip side of that, never ever be afraid to reach out for human contact just because you’re afraid you’ll burden others during an already demanding season.)
I also recommend you check out Afterwards Blog, written by my girlfriend Jennelle on life after losing a loved one. She’s one of those girls who just gets it. Last month she posted about “The Grief that Stole Christmas” and addressed some common, natural fears head on.
For those of you faced with this very difficult seasonal reminder of love and loss, you are in my heart. I know your memories are gifts cherished much, much more than those wrapped under the tree.
(B-Bo, if you’re reading this: I love and miss you, Mighty Mouse.)
3. The Waitress Confessions
If you work in the service industry (or even in the retail industry), this is a great read on “Server Survival” over the holidays. Regardless of the field you work in (and, after reading around TWC, I’m grateful for the predictability of my 8-to-4), one tip is universally applicable: GET LOTS OF REST. For servers, you are entering a time of double shifts, large party reservations and (hopefully!) higher tips. The more shut-eye you can indulge in, the better equipped you are to tackle long, draining days. Are you getting 7-9 hours a night?
4. Woods Publishing
Content writer Joy gives a detailed and informative break-down on how not to break down over seasonal stress (or what she calls the “Holiday-apocalypse”). I think her three-pronged approach (MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS; DON’T OVER-COMMIT YOURSELF; and RECOGNIZE YOUR TRIGGERS) is really simple yet effective. It’s also straight-forward, so don’t click over expecting any frills or cutesy social platitudes. It’s true that the only thing we have control over is our emotions (and even that’s a shaky hold), and what Joy’s suggesting is to take matters into your own hands and be accountable for your stress, worries and fears. I’m on board with that.
If I can include one more snippet of advice: stay out of your city’s CBD if at all possible on Saturdays. That is, unless you’re a glutton for punishment and/or have limitless patience reserves.
I wish you the happiest of holidays and hope each and every one of my readers is able to take time to reflect on the year gone by and make warm, snuggly memories with loves one.