Family room during the holiday season.

The Key to a Peaceful Holiday

Family room during the holiday season.

Holiday CC Photo Courtesy of Bo Insogna,

That time of year is fast approaching. You know, the dreaded holidays. The time when stress builds with each passing day, when you remember the thousands of things on your to-do list. How are you supposed to get everything checked off your shopping list and get your house ready to receive the multitudes of guests while keeping your sanity?

It is possible. While you can certainly unwind if only for a couple of hours at your Fort Collins spa with a few relaxing treatments, you just might not have it in the budget. (Playing Santa is expensive!) Here are some tips on incorporating peace into each and every day to keep yourself grounded and happy from Thanksgiving right through the new year.

  1. Feed your body. Yes, we know your Aunt Ida makes the best fudge around this time of year. It’s okay to indulge on those sweet treats we look forward to each year – the key is balancing those indulgent choices with a good diet the rest of the time! Then you won’t feel so guilty when you do indulge. When you’re enjoying that fudge, eat mindfully and savor each bite – it might help you steer clear of over-indulging.
  2. Breathe it in. Do you find yourself worked up to the point of panic when thinking about your to-do list? Yes, a facial at the Windsor salon is helpful, but really all you  need to do is stop what your doing and breathe. Take a few moments out of your day to simply breathe – a few deep cleansing breaths will do. Even if you aren’t stressed, plan these moments to stop and breathe into your day. It will really make a difference in your mood!
  3. Exercise. Even if you are a homebody during the cooler months, you need to find a way to get moving. It doesn’t matter if you rely on a treadmill and walk for twenty minutes, pull out the yoga mat, or take a walk around your block – exercise is the perfect way to ease holiday stress. If you plan a thirty-minute break to move, you’ll find things don’t irritate you as much during this holiday season.
  4. Get outside. During the summer, we have no problem getting out there and enjoying the sunshine. Did you know it’s just as important to go outside in the winter months? We need sunshine to get the all-important vitamin D into our bodies, absorbed through our skin. Sure, it helps us to process calcium, but it also helps lighten our mood. If you just can’t get outside (which you should – just bundle up), be sure you’re getting vitamin D through your food or in supplement form.
  5. Connect with others. Yes, we know that this is the only time of year your entire family gathers together to celebrate the season. If this isn’t enough to warm your heart, it’s time to connect with others in your community. Find a way to give back to your community – organize a coat and mitten drive for the less fortunate, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or donate to a local toy drive. Sometimes, the key to holiday happiness is knowing you have done something to make someone’s holiday merry who is less fortunate than you.
  6. Be thankful. This ties in to the last tip – the key to holiday happiness lies in being thankful for what you have. When you are giving to the less fortunate, it is an important reminder that you are blessed to be able to provide for yourself and others. Some don’t have this luxury – it’s important to remember that although you’re stressed about buying everyone something delightful, the fact that you have the ability to buy everyone something is a true blessing. Be thankful for what you have, and remind yourself of this every time you start to let your stress and anxiety rule your life. Embrace the stress – it means you have a family that cares for you enough to gather around the table, and money enough to make their season a little brighter.
  7. Fix it. They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, what if it is? Sit down and really think hard about the holidays. Do you despise certain aspects? Well, change them! Decide what you enjoy about the holidays and what you don’t, and ditch the things that you don’t like, simple as that. For example, you really hate Christmas Eve because you’re the one who hosts dinner for your family. You hate saying goodbye to the last guest at 9:30 p.m., and then having to clean the house and get the kids settled down (which isn’t easy after all of those sweet treats your sister brought) so that Santa can visit. Did I mention you didn’t finish wrapping? Well, who says you have to host dinner so late anyway? Schedule it earlier so that you can more easily manage bedtime, and get in the habit of wrapping presents as you purchase them instead of saving it all for Christmas Eve. Problem solved!

Remember that you control your holiday. Yes, gathering with loved ones is important, but if something doesn’t make you happy or brings you undue anxiety, don’t do it! It really is that simple. Paying a visit to the Fort Collins spa for a rejuvenating or relaxing treatment wouldn’t hurt either!

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