Self-Care for the Holidays

Self-Care for the Holidays

If you are like me, you are in full swing of the holiday season with a full calendar of events, parties, shopping, and cooking, and I am sure a few others.    Are you already tired just thinking about it?  Today I share with you a few of my “go-to” self-care things that I actually put a lot of attention to so that I can be at my best during the season and to be able to fully enjoy all that is happening.

5 Key Self-Care Must Do’s

 

Get enough sleep 

Ok, I can already hear you laughing when you read that one!  But seriously, getting enough sleep is critical for keeping a strong immune system, keeping a clear head and also for the aesthetics!   Who wants dark circles and bags to go with the sparkly outfits?  I do realize that it is not always possible to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night at this time of year but give yourself at least 3 nights of the week when you get a full night in and don’t be afraid to take a very short nap in the afternoon.  I found this past week was exceptionally busy so tonight I have planned to go to bed early and get up early but making sure it amounts to at least 8 hours.  I recently bought a Fitbit (I was actually against them for a long time (another moment I eat of never say never) and interestingly enough I use it to monitor my sleep more than anything else!  Sad to say I was shocked but it has paved the way for me to correct the situation.

Eat healthy 

Food, food, food.  We all love food and especially at holiday time.  Having said that, in order to feel and look your best over the holidays and do all that you want, eating healthy is one of the critical ingredients.  Now I am not saying to not eat the yummy butter tarts or shortbreads or the wine.  Quite the contrary, just limit it.  One of the best ways is to start your day with a green smoothie and get in as many nutrients as early as you can and you won’t feel nearly as guilty eating the sweet stuff.  You want to savor every bit of those treats.  This past 2 years I have significantly cut down on my sugar consumption and this year I don’t even really like admitting this but I did not enjoy my treats nearly as much.  The butter tarts were way too sweet for me….which really helps keep it down to 1, not 1 dozen!  Overall, you should be aiming for about  90/10 or  80/20 – good, healthy foods to treats.

Drink water

For those that drink water on a regular basis, this may not be an issue.  For others, this can be a challenge.  This is especially true in the winter when we usually don’t drink water because of the lack of heat.   Like all health things, everybody is different and has different requirements, but overall, I would aim for 7-8 glasses of water a day.  This too I am recording on my Fitbit.  I have to admit that this is the one thing that I struggle with the most BUT also makes the biggest difference in my well-being when I consume sufficient water.  Add raspberries or lemon if you need to add a bit of flavor.

Set Boundaries

I have spoken about this in my recent previous emails and it comes up over an over.  This is a huge piece to keep you healthy emotionally over the holidays.  When you are emotionally healthy you will have a better chance of sleeping better, eating healthy (fewer sugar binges) and feel better overall.  With that being said, this can be really challenging at the holiday time.  There are many family traditions that you may be up against which can add more tension.  Taking baby steps to put in place boundaries, even if it is gradually over the years you will be better for it in the long run.  Always come from a place of love and compassion and you will get much further!

Set aside some time for just you each week

This is a non-negotiable for me!  Sunday morning for 1 hour is mine.  No interruptions, no questions, no “is breakfast ready?”  This is my time and I even keep it in place when we have visitors.  I teach my morning rituals in my classes and have recently published a book/journal to assist with this ritual. (will be launched soon!). Figure out what works best for you and make it happen.  This involves setting boundaries with others and yourself!  Once you do this for a while you will not want to go a week without it.  If you can do this daily, even better!

These are just 5 simple ways to be your best over the holidays.  Take action, you are worth it!

Wishing you a fun-filled, exciting and magical season.

Love & Abundance,

Maria

To help you with your Christmas planning, download my FREE 12 Ways to Save this Christmas budget planning sheet to help you get started on this!

 

Plan for Peace

Plan for Peace

My question to you….”What do you want from this holiday season?”  I have been reading and following Danielle LaPorte lately and she would ask “How do you want to feel?”

Whatever it is that you want, the best way to get there is to plan for it to happen.

While I am super excited about this blog, I can not believe it is that time of year. Christmas time that is! Well, not exactly Christmas time but time to plan for it so you can enjoy it and also so you can come to January with no financial regrets!  As a Health, Wealth & Freedom coach my blogs will be covering all these areas over the next 2 months so you can truly enjoy the season.

 

Let’s start with basic planning!

 

What do you want from this holiday season? Peace, lots of presents, community, lots of good food, rest and relaxation (yes, this is possible!), or maybe new experiences. This year my daughter and I have planned some new experiences and are also returning to some old traditions. I am not sure if it is the planning for the holidays that I like more or the actual holidays themselves. I am such a planner! None the less, it makes the holiday season so much more fun and yes relaxing.

The holidays can be such a stressful time for many for various reasons. This often happens when there is conflict in families (whose home is everyone going to, expectations, etc).

Pause for a moment and think, is this the year to set some boundaries and maybe new expectations? Just putting it out there for a thought. I go back to my initial question. What do you want from this holiday season? Our current society is so materialistic and I would like to encourage you to possibly look to experiences this season rather than material possessions. Yes, having no gifts for the kiddies would not go over well and I am not suggesting this at all. I am suggesting that there be a mix of experiences and gifts as a place to begin to change their perspective.

I admit that I used to buy tons of gifts for my daughter, only to learn that what she really wants is time with me. This year we will be attending some concerts, plays and community events and of course will be opening some presents. Time together is the most important and never take your loved ones for granted.

 

Giving back for a new meaning of the holidays.

 

We also do a fair bit of giving over the holidays and this year will be no exception. Every year I sponsor a family through Presents for Peace at the YWCA and also do a few other community things as they arise. To show my gratitude I cook a brunch for my 16 staff in appreciation for all they do during the year. My success is because of them and I am grateful for each one of them. One of our other traditions we started a few years ago when we moved into our new condo unit was to make little present bags for each of our neighbors on our floor. These are filled with our favorite baking….and those who know me well, I love to bake. Stay tuned over the season for more good stuff on that! The neighbors love them and interestingly we have started something because they all reciprocate. It is so much fun dropping them off at their door….and to receive them too!  It was the bridge to building a closer community right where we live.

Now speaking of receiving. This is the perfect time of year to practice our receiving. Whether it is a compliment or a gift. Always be gracious and DO NOT deflect any compliments. This is a real challenge for many! How many times has someone said “you look fabulous today” and you respond with “my hair is not at it’s best today” or “you look great too”. Deflection at it’s finest!  This is not how the flow of abundance works in our universe! Simply say “thank you”! It is really that easy….and maybe smile too!

 

Let’s Talk Money!

 

Let’s talk about the budget now! OK, don’t run away and turn off the computer now! This is equally important so when you come to January you have no regrets! Be realistic as to what you can afford. Get creative. Don’t buy just for the sake of buying something. Put some time into a thoughtful gift and you will find that you do not have to spend nearly as much money if it has some real significance to that person. Again you may be asking yourself, why am I reading something about Christmas now, in November! Well, that is all about planning too. To get the best prices on things, pay the lowest shipping costs on things, you need to plan ahead. I am not asking you to put up your Christmas tree or anything like that….just simply grab a cup of tea and think about the holidays and do a bit of planning. Also, starting early helps spread the cost over a longer time so it is not such a big hit at once.

I read a recent article by Erica Alini in the Money section on Global News that stated that a reasonable gift budget is 1% of your gross annual income. Hmmm…not sure I totally agree with this methodology. She did go on to say that this was a starting point and you still needed to consider what you can actually afford. For the average Canadian family, this would be $700. PWC expects Canadians to spend over $1500 on average over the holiday season. We often forget the cost of wrapping paper, ribbons, all the extra food and travel costs.

Take some time to think what is important to you this season, how you want to feel throughout it and what you are going to do about it to make it what you want. It should be a time of joy, community, and love. Not anxiety, stress, and exhaustion. You choose! It is your life! Enjoy it!

To help you with your Christmas planning, download my FREE 12 Ways to Save this Christmas budget planning sheet to help you get started on this!

 

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