Honestly? Sometime it feels like December is an endurance event. It can be hard for me to take a step back and just...chill. There's so much that has to be done; shopping, events to attend, stuff to bake, travel to arrange, etc., etc. Its overwhelming.
Over time, I've come up with a few strategies that help me relax and actually enjoy the season, because even though I'm not at all religious, this time of year is special to me: Its a celebration of life, family, friends, and a reminder that even in the dark and cold of winter, the earth is alive and spring will come again.
What I'm doing to stay copacetic:
-I'm getting my holiday shopping done early so I'm not worrying about what to get who. As of right now, I only have Otto's teachers (giftcards, of course) and a friend left to shop for and I'll get those knocked out in the next couple days. Yay! Love having all that accomplished. (I truly enjoy shopping for the "perfect" gifts but I can't handle waiting until the last minute- too much pressure!!)
- Keeping my workout schedule. My runs are my "me" time, the time I have to think and mull and otherwise just be inside my own head. Even when I'm tired, or its cold, or whatever, I'm getting out for a run or in worst case scenario, I'm doing an exercise DVD in the basement. I need to sweat to feel whole. This morning, I ran in the dark while it was snowing. It was great.
-Saying "No." This is a hard one. But I just can't attend every lunch, happy hour, office party, etc. that I get invited to. My time with my family suffers if I try and honestly, there are precious few gatherings that I'm actually excited to go to. Also, I can't afford to donate to every cause, every charity, every fundraiser. I can't do like 4 different secret santa exchanges. I can't bake cookies and make chex mix and pie crust and and and...Sorry but...NO.
-Prioritizing. This goes along with saying no. I'm continuously asking myself,"is this REALLY the most important thing? Really??" If the answer is No, then I rethink my current course of action. I only want to do the important stuff. I want to do the things I really care about.
What am I missing? What are you doing make sure that you enjoy the season and don't stress?