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Holiday Survival Guide Part One

Can you believe it? The holiday season is here, and with it comes excitement, exhaustion, joy and challenge.

Here is a list of ideas to help you survive the holiday season:

-Pay attention to what YOU need and take care of yourself.

It's true -- you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Monitor and recognize your personal levels of stress and do things that you know will help. You might go rest on your bed for 15 minutes, take a short walk, or put on some relaxing music (headphones are fine). Just tell the people in your life, “I need a break and I’ll be back in 15 minutes”. This can make a huge difference. If small

attempts of self-care don’t seem enough and you find yourself unable to cope, reach out to a counselor, a loved one, or a pastor. Be your own advocate and take care of yourself first.

-Practice saying "NO."

Do these requests sound familiar? “Can you watch little Johnny for a few hours tonight?” “Can you bring your famous cheesecake to dinner tomorrow?” “You don’t mind hosting our Christmas party, do you?” If saying no, all by itself, seems too harsh for you, feel free to add a couple of softer words. “No, thank you.” Or, “Thanks for offering, but I’ll pass.” You can even say, “Not this time.” Remember, saying NO is not complicated. Simply because you are asked to do something or attend something, you are not obligated to say yes.

-Be willing to say "YES", but only when people offer to help, pitch in or lighten your load.

I know you - you help, help, help everyone, but when someone offers to help you, you say, “no thank you”. This must stop. The next time you have company, and someone asks, “Can I help with the dishes?” respond by saying, “Sure that would be great. Thanks!” Or if they say, “What can we bring to dinner?" Don’t say, “Just yourselves.” Give them an item, or two, that they can bring. Rolls, green bean casserole, or dessert. Share the joy and the work of the holiday season.

-Get outside!

Is it too cold? Then grab a coat. No excuses accepted. Every day, (EVERY DAY), find a way to get outside. You can walk, sit, read, jog, or shoot some hoops. Now, don’t go out and look at your phone or work on your to-do list. Just go outside and enjoy nature. Breathe in the air, smile at someone, and if you are able, move your body. It’s hard to be negative when you’re in the sunshine and taking in some Vitamin D.

-Plan ahead.

This is the season to be organized and avoid overspending. Minimize trips to the store by planning ahead. If you plan to go to the grocery store, make a list and give yourself a couple of days before going so you can add to that list as you think of last minute items you need. This is also a good time to utilize on-line shopping options where you can drive through/drive up and pick up your order. This will save time standing in lines and buying things you don’t need.

Stay tuned - Part Two coming soon!

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