Monday, December 10, 2007

It's All About Balance

Does the "hustle and bustle" of the holidays get you stressed out and thrown off your daily routine? With the extra shopping and spending, the cleaning and decorating of the house, preparing and cooking for family and guests, and the pressure of trying to please wonder so many people get stressed out and loose their "inner peace" this time of year. "Eat, drink, and be merry", doesn't mean gorge yourself with food, drink to oblivion, and pretend to be so "merry" that you loose yourself in the "act".

I'm not sure that other cultures or religions, outside of Christianity in the United States, go to the same extent as most of us do in celebrating "the holiday" Christmas has become. I'll admit that it has become for many a very materialized holiday filled with overindulgence and not much reflection of why we celebrate Christmas. I'm not knocking it all because I love the whole "spirit" of Christmas", but I too get caught up in the "pressures of pleasing" and all that it entails. Here are some ways I've learned to maintain "balance" this time of year:

-I keep up with my regular workouts (for the most part). I work off any "negative energy" that may otherwise stress me out; plus it increases my endorphins, the "happy hormones" which get released from physical exertion.

-When I see that my co-workers have brought "tempting" deserts and fattening foods into the lounge for everyone, I head right to my locker and grab a protein bar or start munching on some rice cakes; or I'll take an early lunch to make sure I'm not hungry when I walk into the break room. I can resist temptation much better if my sugar level isn't crashing...don't get to that point!

-When it comes to shopping for gifts, I make a list of who I need to buy for and what I'd like to get them. I may look in the fliers to see which stores have what I need at the best price so I can save time by going to the place that has the most of what I need in one shot (time management!).

- I try to buy ONLY gifts and things I REALLY need right away. I remind myself that I can shop for myself after Christmas...January Clearance Sales!!

- Not only do I NOT suggest wrapping all 30+ gifts at one sitting, but don't wait until the night before to realize you have 15 gifts for one child and only 7 for the other! There are only so many "girl" gifts you can put into the "boy's" pile on Christmas Eve without upsetting someone.

The main thing is to appreciate the time spent with the people you love. As we get closer to Christmas (the holiday I celebrate), I'll start to remember some other possible "triggers" that can offset your "Balance" and "Peace of Mind"...Deep cleansing Breath...ahhhh:)