Just as I promised, Gaye from CalmHealthySexy is here today. She has some great advice for all of us. I’ll be honest……….I asked her to write this for me because I knew I was going to need it. The holidays are always hectic around here. My friends and I all talk about how crazy it gets and I decided to call Gaye in to rescue us all. Her blog is just like your best friend, but this friend not only has good intentions…………she has good advice as well.
When you are finished here……..hop on over to CalmHealthySexy to get caught up on some other great posts.
6 Strategies for Creating a Calmer Christmas
Ready or not, the Christmas season is upon us. Your schedule is probably packed, and chances are you’re having a hard time keeping things calm and healthy. (I certainly am!) And keeping things sexy may be entirely off your radar! For women, and especially those with young children, this can be one of the most stressful times of the year.
While you can’t eliminate all the stress of the season, you can control and manage much of it. Here are 6 strategies for creating a calmer Christmas season for you and your family this year:
Assess your schedule, plans and expectations.
What things are causing you the most stress? Are those things truly important, or could you let them go? For example, attending your children’s school music program and planning Christmas dinner for your family are truly important, but finding perfect matching outfits for the Christmas Eve service and attending all of your neighbors’ holiday parties probably are not. Take some time to identify the truly important things and to reconsider expectations that may be
unrealistic. (You know, like my dream of serving a Christmas dinner that looks like it came from the pages of Southern Living!) If your goal is to enjoy a joyous, peaceful Christmas with your family, taking this step is essential.
Organize and prioritize your Christmas “to do” list.
Once you’ve established your priorities, make a list of the things you’ll need to do to accomplish them. Put the most important items higher on the list. Then use the list to plan your schedule for each day and week. Plan to accomplish most of your high-priority items before you devote much time to low-priority tasks. And try to group similar tasks, or those that can be done in the same location, together – you don’t want to be running to the same mall or store 3 or 4 times if you can possibly avoid it.
Tackle one thing that’s annoying you that can be done in 30 minutes or less.
This might be a Christmas thing, or it could be a regular thing(maybe something on your Little Annoying Tasks (LAT) List). Either way, pick something that’s bugging you, something you can accomplish in 30 minutes or less, and just do it. Try to do this once or twice a week, and enjoy the satisfaction of being done with something that’s been weighing on your mind.
Make time for your marriage.
When things get crazy, it’s easy to let your husband and marriage drop to the bottom of your “to do” list. But taking time to connect with him and spending time together can actually reduce your stress, rather than adding to it. And don’t forget that sex is a great stress reducer! In addition, be sure to involve your husband in the Christmas plans and responsibilities, rather than becoming the “Christmas Commander” and trying to do everything on your own. Sharing the burdens (and fun) of the season with him can reduce your stress level too.
Go outside and take a walk. If you’re too busy to take a walk every day,you’re too busy. Really. A 30-minute walk is ideal, but a 15-minute walk is a good place to start.
Take care of yourself.
Take a warm bath, read a book for pleasure, listen to beautiful music, watch a relaxing TV show or movie – anything you enjoy that relaxes you. Again, if you’re too busy to do this at least every other day, you’re too busy. Cross some things off your to-do
list or assign them to someone else.
and I would love to hear from you.
I'm feeling very disorganized and a bit overwhelmed in my life right now, Gaye. I always appreciate your challenges and thoughts that help me to examine some of the areas where I've gotten stuck to make positive changes instead. I think your suggestion to do one thing that's annoying you and can be done in 30 minutes is a good place for me to start. I praying for you, Gaye, that you're feeling God's comfort at this time of loss. It is not a small thing to lose a mom. I lost mine about 11 years ago and I still think of her and miss her.
Juggling Real Food and Real Life says
Gaye has been such a positive influence on my life. I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone. I am working on getting rid of those little annoying things in my house (not my kids LOL!) and it really is helping to reduce my Christmas stress.
Nicole Burkholder says
If you're too busy to take a walk, you're too busy. Great advice. I always let my exercise slip first when things get nutty. Thanks for the reminder!
Juggling Real Food and Real Life says
Gaye is so good at always helping me keep focused on what matters most. If we busy moms aren't healthy our household will suffer. Gaye always reminds me of how important it is to take of myself and not just my family. New concept for me! I'm making good progress with it thanks to her friendly reminders.