Here are some simple things that may help you keep your sanity as the holiday rush approaches:
Keep at least some of your gift giving simple. The media and the retail establishment have created a situation where the main focus of the holidays has become the giving of expensive gifts. The overspending becomes a stress that wears on into the next year with credit card bills that won't stop. Remember, there are many things that you can give your loved ones that don't cost very much. In the busy world we live in today, your time is the greatest gift that you can give someone. It's a little late to be thinking of making many more gifts but a gift certificate in the form of your time for anything from cleaning the house to some spring yard clean-up would be appreciated by an elderly parent or grandparent that no longer cares to or can do it for themselves.
Wrap up a gift to yourself if not physically then mentally. Give yourself that gift of time or a special book that you've wanted for so long. Plan to give myself the afternoon off to do with as you want Remember that nothing during this holiday season is worth sacrificing your health mental or physical.
Plan some simple meals before and after the feast to allow your digestion to rest. A simple soup made with some leftover turkey stock with just a few vegetables or some rice would be a welcome break from the heavier foods. Or try a meal of brown rice with leftover vegetables. Foods are stressors too. Many of us end up with colds or flu after the holiday season and we always chalk it up to the cold or the rush and no sleep yet excessive eating can be part of the picture too.
To help spare your mental health, first take care of your physical health. Here are some things we all need that sometimes are in shortage as the grip of the holiday over takes our lighter, brighter sides. Smile a lot; it costs nothing and is beyond price. Besides, they'll wonder what you're up to. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed; it will come back to you tenfold. Maintain a sense of humor; laughter is infectious. Above all, remember to take care of yourself and be thankful for your health even if it's not perfect; it's a gift that can usually be improved upon!
To all my readers out there in Christmasland, may your holiday be bright,
blessed, and cheery. From my hands to your heart, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
This article posted to Zephyr online December 19, 1996