Has the holiday hubbub left you feeling a little frazzled?
It’s left me feeling more than a little frazzled. I’m feeling downright ragged!
I took this past week off work to be able to reduce stress and get a little more “joy” out of this joyous season.
It was a great week, however, the day after our family Christmas dinner, I realized I looked a MESS!
I never went for my monthly salon visit in November OR December!
Not to mention my hands. They were dry with brittle, chipped unpolished nails. Ugh! Too bad I didn’t have this grand realization BEFORE the party!
Not only did I look a mess, my body ached from not making time to exercise.
No wonder I was feeling so ragged.
I wasn’t just looking bad. Not taking care of myself physically was dragging me down mentally.
I was happy but I didn’t feel at the top of my game.
I quickly made a mad dash to the salon and crashed in on a cycling class. (Still need to do the nails but I am slathering my hands with body butter several times a day now especially just before bed.)
I feel so much better already!
I think I got so caught up in all the excitement of the season that I completely forgot a very important thing…
Consistent self-care is the key to looking (and feeling) good every day.
(see my top 10 tips on how to look good everyday here)
There were so many easy things I could have been doing to keep myself more pulled together during this busy time.
I want to share them with you as a reminder to not forget about the small things.
After a while, those small things, added together, make a big impact. Either good or bad.
Here are 15 FAST super-easy things you can do to keep yourself strong during busy, stressful times.
#1 Go to bed early. Make sure you get proper rest. The benefits your body reaps from a good night’s sleep are amazing.
#2 Keep your regular routine. Don’t skip salon visits or workouts. Brush your teeth at night, make your bed when you wake up, watch that weekly TV show you look forward to. Do your nightly reading. These are the little things. The little IMPORTANT things! Make time for them.
#3 Exercise. Like I just said, don’t skip workouts. This one is crucial for getting through busy, stressful times. It also helps ward off those extra holiday pounds. 🙂
#4 Eat your green veggies! I love fruits and vegetables and I eat meat sparingly, but I wasn’t eating enough dark greens and my energy starting slacking. If you can’t find time to eat it, there are lots of great green drinks you can purchase to make sure you get the nutrition your body needs most.
#5 Be kind. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting (as this time of year has a tendency to bring out in people) and I recall a lot of things I’ve either said myself or had said to me that weren’t meant to be hurtful but were not very thoughtful and shouldn’t have been said at all.
There’s a lot of drama around us in the world. We don’t need to add to it. Being kind has both mental and physical benefits. It just takes a minute to stop and think before you speak. It’s easier than you think!
#6 Give the gift of your time. When you drop off that plate of holiday cookies to a friend and they invite you inside, don’t rush off. Spend 5 minutes of your time to let the people in your life know that you value and care about them. Make time to go to lunch with an old friend you miss. Take your child for a ice cream cone. (well or maybe a hot chocolate hahaha!) Volunteer. You get the idea! Don’t always be in such a rush. Nurturing relationships is one of the most important things you can do.
#7 Try something new. I know I’ve said this before but there’s a reason for it. It works! Eat at a new restaurant. Try a new nail color, watch a new tv series you’ve been hearing good things about. Anything! There are so many things in the world. Don’t get stuck in a rut. When you take a chance and try something new it’s exciting and can have big rewards. It challenges your brain!
#8 Stay positive. You may not be able to accomplish everything you would like to get done but keep in mind that the holidays are extra busy and it won’t be like this all the time. If you can’t get to something, reschedule it to after the holidays if possible. Keep things simple. When you have a positive outlook even the roughest days can be good. You can’t always choose what happens in life, but you can always choose how you’re going to respond to it.
#9 Take a walk. This morning at work I got upset over a mis-communicated new policy that created a problem for me. I normally don’t get upset easily and it surprised me that I was taking it so hard. My first instinct was to head outside. Even if you only have a couple of minutes, stepping outside can work wonders for your mental state. Bonus points if you can get in a quick fitness walk at the same time. Being outdoors has magical healing powers!
#10 Listen to an uplifting Podcast. Sunday evening I listened to a podcast by Marie Forleo called How To Get Anything You Want. You can download it for free when you sign up to be on her email list. (Which I highly recommend, she’s phenomenal!)
Normally I scan through things. This time I told myself I would listen to the entire podcast. It was an hour-long and I had to pause it several times when the kids interrupted, but it was the best hour I’ve spent in a very long time. So inspiring! Lots of great tips and motivational advice. It set me up for the perfect start in the New Year. I’m looking forward to listening to more in the near future.
But you don’t have to listen to a long Podcast. There are some great 10-15 minute podcasts that can be very powerful and give you a little lift when you’re feeling a bit down.
#11 Write. Write in a journal. Write a blog post. Write an email or letter. It doesn’t matter what it’s about or if anyone ever sees it. Just write. Writing is therapeutic and can also help workout problems that you have swirling around in your head. (This is my blue blogging book that goes EVERYWHERE I go. If I ever find a spare minute, I pull it out and let the ideas start flowing.) You may be surprised by how relaxing writing can actually be.
#12 Play a board game. Not on a computer, phone, or tablet. An actual real live board game with game pieces you can touch. We played Clue recently with our two youngest ones, Andrew and Ashley, and we all had the best time. Backgammon is next on our list!
#13 Meditate. For this one you can use your phone or tablet. I have a white noise app I use every single night. I’m obsessed with the ocean and each night before bed I listen to the gentle rolling of some waves before I shut off all the lights. It’s a great way to wind down in the evening. It’s also a great way to rejuvenate when you are feeling overwhelmed. The options are limitless for what’s available to listen to. YouTube.com has some great videos that can walk you through some meditation exercises.
#14 Incorporate yoga into your everyday movement. I know yoga is exercise, but before you say this is included in #3 above, please hear me out.
Exercise can be stimulating and also strenuous. Including yoga. The kind of yoga I’m talking about is the yoga way of moving throughout the day.
For example, at work, my chair swivels. Sometimes I grab my desk with both hands and sway from side to side about 10-15 times. Just a quick pick-me-up to loosen some tight muscles. Or when I’m loading dishes into the dishwasher I bend over deeply to get an extra stretch of the legs.
Don’t tell anyone, but in the elevator at work I do calf raises. I work on the 6th floor so I can get quite a few raises done in one ride. Yay!
Another thing I love, love, love to do is child’s pose. A good back stretch right before I get into bed. It’s SO easy! Feels like I’m not doing a thing, yet at the same time it feels amazing and I can feel every muscle in my back lengthening and loosening. Even if you’re not a yogi, give it a try. You’ll love it!
#15 Enjoy the silly moments in your day. Sometimes I’m way too serious. I will see something funny and kind of smile on the inside.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to let loose a little and show my joy more.
Laugh in a work meeting (if appropriate). Laugh when the kids blow bubbles in their milk. Laugh when the dog slides into the back door frantically trying to get to her ball to play fetch.
Making this effort, I’ve felt an actual lift in my mood that stays for hours even from just the small silly things.
I also try to look for levity in what could otherwise be frustrating situations.
These 15 things are just a few of the easy, little things that have made a huge difference in my every day this week as I’ve tried to get myself pulled back together and stay together during this wonderful, but busy holiday season.
I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar. I’d love to hear any of your ideas! Leave me a comment. I can read your comments as part of my de-frazzling efforts. hahaha!