Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stay Merry & Be Well This Holiday Season

Okay, I have posted about it before, but it is so important to have a game plan for the holidays. Call it, a plan of attack, if you will. But, I for one, need a way to navigate the stress, food and family that comes with the holidays. Since joining the Mamavation Sistahood I have met some fabulous gals and have chatted and learned a lot about successful strategies for stressful situations just like this. BookieBoo and Earth Footwear have asked for my top 5 tips for staying merry and being well this holiday season.

 1. Sleep - I am guilty of shorting myself all too often in the sleep department. Unfortunately, the holidays are especially stressful and tiring for me, so I make a conscious effort to get a good night's sleep. If I am well rested I am more productive and am more likely to stay healthy. Does Christmas bring colds to your household? Well, all those out of town friends and family can bring germs along with their presents. Getting enough sleep can help the immune system handle the onslaught of new invaders looking to hit you at your weakest. So, I try to hit the sheets with the rest of my family. The dishes will wait till tomorrow.

2. Enjoy but don't Overindulge - Something about saying, "I'm not going to have any dessert this year" sends me running straight for the pie! This year I don't plan on saying, "no"... just go easy on the whip cream. A few bites or a thin slice of pumpkin pie will let me get a taste, but go a little easier on my overall calorie count. I love food and the holidays serve up a wonderful assortment of my favorite comfort foods. Since I look forward to turkey day, why would I run away from the things I love? I will try to enjoy my meal and stay away from second helpings and unbuttoning my pants. Keeping things simple helps me to not only feel better physically, but feel better about myself. That will keep the smile on my face this holiday season.

3. Take a Family Walk - This is one of my favorite activities all year round. Not as simple as it sounds though, since Oregon is notorious for wet and miserable weather this time of year. Bundled up, we should be fine, and this will get us out of the house. It is much easier to avoid mindless snacking if I take myself out of the house. Also getting us all moving will keep us in a merrier mood with those lovely endorphins and blood pumping.

4. Schedule in "Me Time" - This is my personal sanity saver! This mama feels her best when she has a chance to recharge the batteries. With two small kiddos underfoot, that can be mighty hard to do. I try to grab a little time to myself after the kiddos are in bed, or during nap time. And if I am really lucky, my DH will take the kids out for an hour or so. Just do what you need to feel your best, and be sure to ask for help when you need it.

5. Cherish each Moment - I think with all the preparation and planning, I am guilty of not always living in the moment. My son is currently 3, and my daughter is 1. I want to remember the holidays with them and all the funny or sweet moments we share over the course of the day. Of course, I don't want them to remember me stressed out, or too busy to sip a cup of hot cocoa with them. I am sure many Moms would agree that spending time with small children is good for the soul. I plan on reaping every benefit of this family time I possibly can. I worry they will be gone too fast.

Do you have any tips for staying merry and well this holiday season? I would love to hear about them. Just leave me a comment.

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Earth Footwear "All's Well That Ends Well" blogging program, making me eligible to win a pair of Earth Footwear boots. For more information on how you can participate, click here .
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