Happy Monday, loves!
Can you believe there are only 8 more days until Christmas? This is the single best week of the year, and I cannot believe it’s here already! But, let’s be a little bit honest. This time of year can be a little overwhelming if you’re not careful. Parties, events, travel, hosting, and more can make it seem like you have more to do than you have time to do it, and you are not alone in that feeling.
December is halfway over, and we haven’t had a moment to breathe in our house. The kids have an activity every single time we turn around. Christmas parties and events at school on top of their regularly scheduled sports, teams, and events. My husband’s company hosts a beautiful Christmas party every year that we cannot say no to (he works from home only, and he only goes to the office two or three times a year because we live so far away). It’s a weekend-long event for us since we have to travel, and it’s one of the most fun weekends of the year. Add that to our other regularly scheduled travel plans and hosting, and we are just exhausted.
Last week, for example, my husband and I were in Tampa for the weekend at his company Christmas party. It was such a beautiful, elegant evening in the Le Meridien ballroom. A sit-down dinner and casino night, and all the excuses to wear a floor-length sequin gown – it was all my favorite things wrapped up into one amazing night. And, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to spend the weekend away with my love shopping and spending quality time together. I swear, I think that’s what makes our marriage so much fun. We have the best time together, and we definitely make the most of it!
This weekend, we packed up and left again to spend the weekend at the Gaylord with the kids and our oldest daughter’s best friend and her family. We love the Gaylord, and we try to spend a few weekends there every year because the kids love it so much. ICE was amazing – as usual – this year, and the kids have never had more fun.
Honestly, I cannot even begin to explain with words how amazing they were this weekend. They travel often, and they know how to behave when we are in a hotel or a restaurant or plane or whatever, but this weekend was even more spectacular than we imagined. They were having too much fun with our friends’ daughters to even bother bickering with one another – and it was glorious! What a fun weekend. We rushed home Sunday so that my sweet Charlotte and I could enjoy a ladies’ brunch with our favorite friends (Miss Ava has a sore throat and stayed home because she has a performance at school today and she cannot be sick and miss it) and Addison opted to stay in Orlando with our friends.
It was such a good weekend.
But, we are tired. And we still have to prep for the week ahead, and it occurred to me today that I have no free time this week between Ava’s class performance, my annual shopping day with my best friend, our usual evening activities, the kids’ half-day on Friday followed immediately by a birthday party followed immediately by about a million other things – and we are hosting a brunch for 25 on Saturday. I’m not even done shopping for Christmas yet, wrapping still has to be done, I’m still waiting on packages to arrive, and we have no time.
This is also the busiest time of year for me in terms of work. I’ve found myself running late almost every morning and afternoon heading to school, working after the kids go to bed, and I even found myself responding to emails from clients the other day while sitting on my yoga mat waiting for class to start.
When the actual hell will I not be so busy?
It’s easy to become overwhelmed this time of year.
If you’re in the same boat, here are a few pre-holiday stress tips that I use to help me calm down, reduce my anxiety about getting it all done, and remembering to enjoy this season.
The single best thing I do in life – delegate. Get someone else to mow your lawn and water your flowers. Hire someone to do the non-everyday cleaning at home (think bathrooms and ceiling fans and blinds and baseboards and dusting and stuff you don’t do every single day when you’re straightening up as you go). Order your groceries and have them delivered. Order your gifts and let someone else wrap them (I do not let someone else wrap my gifts – I won’t lie to you. I do it myself because I have specific wrapping paper I use to organize and match gifts every year. I can’t haphazardly wrap gifts in mismatched paper. It throws the main tree all off).
My husband and I delegate a lot of stuff because we simply don’t have time for it, and that is the single best decision we ever made. It’s even better this busy season.
At the risk of sounding judgmental, I just don’t get people who don’t workout. Like, how do you not love to feel so good about yourself when you’re done? I don’t know if my body just releases some kind of abnormal amount of endorphins, but I feel so freaking good after a workout. Nothing that was on my mind before a workout seems to matter after. It’s so good. Try it – because you can eat more Christmas goodies when you’re done. Best thing ever.
Be Mindful of What You’re Putting Into Your Body
This is a big one. l love sweets as much as the next girl, mostly during a certain week of the month. However, most days you’ll find me eating nothing but good, healthy, delicious food. I don’t indulge much, and I really don’t have many cravings for ‘bad’ foods. When I do, I absolutely eat them. However, I’m very mindful what I put into my body.
For example, the last thing I do when I’m feel overwhelmed or stressed is eat junk. I know it makes me feel heavy and disgusting, and I don’t eat it. I also don’t drink anything but coffee or water, and I don’t take anything. I don’t do well with medication or supplements, so I just don’t take them. I find that you just feel better when you eat good-for-you foods and enjoy those. Your body needs the right stuff, and your job is to make sure it’s getting it. I promise you, it definitely makes you feel better (lighter, more energized, non-moody).
Is that hypocritical after saying you shouldn’t put a bunch of crap in your body if you’re not feeling well already? You don’t have to eat it to bake it. I don’t eat a lot of what I bake, but I love to bake this time of year. There is something so good about being in the kitchen with the smells of amazing things baking. It’s just so Christmasy, and it makes me so happy! I just give away whatever I bake – and people love that!
Set Aside Time For What You Really Enjoy
For me, it’s spending quality time with my husband and my kids. We love to schedule an early night where we take early baths and showers, get into our matching Christmas pajamas, make some popcorn and hot chocolate (wine) and watch a Christmas movie together. Our kids LOVE when we watch Home Alone, and it’s our favorite holiday tradition.
If there is one thing we want our kids to know and do and see us doing, it’s to give back. There are so many families who have so little, and we have so much. Giving back is what we’re meant to do, and nothing feels as good as knowing that a little generosity – even if it doesn’t take any time our effort in our lives – can change someone else’s life forever. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, forget what’s on the schedule, go out, and make someone’s holiday dreams come true. I can assure you that you will forget what had you so stressed in the first place.
Remember to be Thankful
When life gets a little overwhelming, I just sit back, take a few deep breaths (try five-count breathing….one of the very best things I ever learned at yoga), and remember that while I may be overwhelmed or annoyed at how much I have to do and how little time I have to do it, I’m beyond fortunate. I have a wonderful family, an active and exciting social life with friends who are absolutely family, a beautiful home, the freedom to enjoy life, and everything I ever prayed for and dreamed of growing up. I might be annoyed or overwhelmed, but I’m also living a life that’s beautiful – and I’m very blessed. Sometimes it takes a quick reminder that life is good to calm me down immediately. I have no complaints, and I’m not in the business of creating them.