The leaves begin to fall, the air grows crisp, and the warm bright sunshine that we love, yet hate at the same time, during those 100 days of summer are but a distant memory. Family and friends begin making their requests for gifts and family favorites passed down for generations. Tables are filled with endless love, vintage linens, layered cakes, cards, and cousins. We greet all who enter our homes with a smile and a glass of holiday cheer. During this time of year we tend to put our family and friends before us and neglect our personal needs. It’s important to know you must take care of yourself first before you can take care of those you care for most. Here are a few tips to help make this holiday season one of not only happiness, but also healthiness.
- Make Lists.
Yes, it’s only November, but the more prepared you are, the better. Order and/or purchase holiday cards and double check the mailing address or email address of your recipients. Purchase wrapping paper, holiday bags, stocking stuffers, and a few extra gifts for that neighbor or coworker who may share a little unexpected holiday cheer. Begin those DIY holiday projects and plan your holiday table décor. Make a list of items needed and plan a day just for shopping to pick them up. This will help you become organized, alleviate anxiety, and lessen the chances of forgetting the candles for the candelabra.
- Spot Sales, Purchase NOW.
As we’re only days away from one of, if not, the largest consumer holidays, many merchants are jumping through hoops to get us through their doors and onto their websites. Many are offering substantial discounts on products and even promoting price matching options. There are also many apps that you can download to help find deals during this time of year. Simply search the items on your list and the apps will lead you to the merchant with the lowest price. And remember, shop online as much as possible, it not only saves time and streamlines your purchasing process, but with free shipping offered just about everywhere, why deal with the hassles of holiday congestion?
Get rid of items you know you haven’t touched since last holiday season: the ugly sweater that’s too ugly, an unopened white elephant gift from your coworker two years ago, those dreadful items that you have carried from the dorm to your first apartment and now your new Sex and the City lifestyle loft. Yes, there may be some laughs and memorable stories attached, but take a picture you don’t need and throw it away! Remember you are in a new chapter of life and as the New Year approaches, this is the time to purge and prune in preparation for 2016!
- Save Time, Decorate in a Common Color Scheme.
Who says the holidays have to always be traditional? Not this BSB. Why not decorate for all of the holidays in similar colors or themes to, not only, save time, but also money! This year, my interior design theme for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s is “Glitter and Glam,”. How you ask? Well, simple, sequins and all things shiny and reflective in metallic colors will be utilized as my neutrals, as well as my pops of color. A sequin pillow here, a rose gold vase there, and a sprinkle of mercury glass everywhere will make my holiday season chic, cheerful and bright.
- Relax, Have Fun.
Regardless of what doesn’t get checked off the To-Do list remember to take a moment to relax and take care of yourself, first! Too often during this time of year our desire to appease our family and friends trumps our innate consciousness of self-care. It is important that we remember the purpose of the holiday season, and not become overly consumed by the materialism of the season. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, stop! Mediate. Pray. Do yoga. Listen to a calming song or podcast. Think, “What would Whitley Gilbert Do?” Take time to reflect on the year, your #health, your happiness, and the many blessings that have been sent your way. Simply, be grateful!
- Don’t Forget to Exercise and Drink Water.
Make a conscious effort to make it a family activity. Walk the dog an extra 15 mins. Turn on your favorite Spotify playlist and dance around the house. Take the stairs in the mall versus the escalator. The little things add up. After all of those adult beverages, endless cups of eggnog, and slices granny’s famous cake, remember to hydrate, drink water; not only will you to end the year on a path of healthy habits, but it will also give you a head’s start on your New Year’s resolution!0