The holidays are supposed to be a time of enjoyment with our friends and family, right? But, it sure seems like there is a lot of pressure around the holiday season to make it the best ever. Not only do you have a ton of invitations to parties and celebrations, you also have to buy presents, cook food, decorate the house, and make sure everyone is well-dressed. It can be a lot for one person. If you try to do too much, you can end up totally exhausted by January 1.
So, why not do the holidays a bit different this year? What if you had a restful holiday instead? Here are some of my tips for taking it easy and avoiding fatigue this holiday season:
- Plan ahead. Look at your calendar for the next two months and plan when you will take care of things like Christmas shopping and food prep. Map out parties and events you need to go to. This way you will get an idea of what lies ahead and won’t be scrambling at the last minute.
- Prioritize. Once you have your schedule in place, you have to prioritize what is most important. You can’t attend every holiday party or event you are invited to, you will have to say no to some. Decide ahead of time which events matter and which don’t, then flex that “no” muscle. In terms of holiday traditions, what are the holiday traditions you can’t live without? Stick with those. The rest can go away. Maybe each person in your family picks one thing they love, like making cookies together, and that’s the only major thing you do.
- Rest. This one may seem pretty obvious, but getting enough rest is the only way you are going to make it through. Have a hard stop time in the evening. Go to bed early every night. Block out periods of time where you aren’t doing anything holiday-related, like Sunday morning. Rest is one of the best ways to prevent burnout.
- Exercise. Regular exercise will give you energy, help manage stress, and prevent you from packing on the extra holiday pounds. Prioritize exercise at least a few times a week. Try to throw in some restorative yoga for stress management as well.
- Outsource. These days you can outsource almost anything. There are companies that specialize in hanging holiday lights or decorating, so you can take that off your plate. Almost every grocery store offers a “complete” holiday meal that you can order and bring home, ready to go. Think about the things you can outsource, to save yourself some time and energy.
- Shop online. Maybe this is obvious, but why spend time in the long lines at the store or fighting traffic at the mall. Everything can be delivered in time for Christmas (if you shop early enough). So hit your favorite websites and get your list taken care of.
- Lean on good nutrition. Eating a healthy diet and using high quality supplements, like All Day Energy Greens, can give you the energy boost you need during the holidays.
For me, exercise, rest, and healthy eating are a priority during this busy time. I don’t want to wake-up on January 1 and feel completely drained. I want to jump out of bed to start the new year fresh! How will you avoid holiday fatigue?
Yours in Health-
Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
IVL’s Community Registered Dietitian