Staying Sane This Holiday Season

December 13, 2013
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The 2013 Holiday Season is in full swing.  This means ample amounts of activity, invitations to parties, time with family, gift giving, eating, drinking and being merry.  It can also mean less sleep, and more stress.

Here are 5 things you can do to stay sane this season:

Plan Ahead:  Thinking ahead will help you streamline your efforts and help you feel less harried!  Knowing what you can do NOW, and what can wait, will make these next 12 days much more enjoyable.

Every year, around the holiday’s I make a calendar that outlines all of my commitments (including my partner’s, children’s, extended family and work/travel commitments) which gives me a bird’s eye view of what lies ahead.  This helps me get clear about where I want to put my energy and also where I don’t.

Once I have the lay of the land outlined, I start thinking about what I need to accomplish, and by when, so I can then create a to-do list that is broken down by project on my timeline.  Is there anything I can do now to save time, resources and energy three weeks from now?  Start doing the things that seem urgent, then leave the rest for a later date.

Delegate:  There is nothing more powerful than freeing your time of the things you simply don’t want to do.  Seriously, give yourself permission to get them off your plate.  What can you ask someone else to do for you?  Yes, I do mean actually asking for help.

  • Are there any errands or shopping you can hire your teenager, or a neighbor kid, to do for you?
  • What can you and your partner divvy up to lighten each other’s loads?  The trick here is to take what you love, give your partner the tasks they don’t mind and then draw straws for the rest.

Say NO:  This is the season for Giving - However, giving to the point of exhaustion or overwhelm is not going to serve anyone.  Go back to your calendar and look at the things you absolute do not want to miss -- not out of obligation, but because those things fill your cup and make you feel good -- then, say NO to the rest.  Setting healthy boundaries and giving yourself permission to have an out when you need one is key to finding balance this season.

Be Mindful & Keep Breathing (Deeply):  It seems simple, and yet so many of us forget the healing benefits of conscious, deep breathing.  I often suggest to my clients to plant their feet firmly on the floor, and then imagine a long string in the center of their heads pulling them up, ever so slightly toward the heavens, until their spine is straight.  Then with one hand over their heart and one on their lower abdomen, I encourage them to take 3-5 long slow deep breaths.  Usually, by the 3rd-5th one, they have started to relax and notice the tension they feel starting to dissipate.  Adding a few drops of vanilla or lavender aromatherapy to the inside of your wrists or the side of your neck brings added relief and helps your entire nervous system calm down.

Make Time For Self Care:  Going back to the basics is an easy way to keep stress at bay during the holiday’s.  Be mindful of what you put in your body, (and don’t judge when you overindulge) - Enjoy. Every. Bite. Of. That. Pumpkin. Pie!  Then, stay hydrated, move your body, and get as much sleep as possible.

Additionally think about taking an extra yoga class, then schedule yourself a massage or facial with your favorite therapist.

Most importantly, remember to HAVE FUN!  It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle bustle of it all and loose sight of what really matters.  This time of year is about BE-ing with your loved one’s - so be with them, and yourself, in a new way this year.


Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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