The calendar is crazy!

Looking at the amount of writing on my kitchen calendar for December is enough to make me tense up inside and want to go crawl back in bed until 2015. It was bad enough before I went to the physical therapist for a bum knee this morning, and he wants to see me twice a week for the next month. Where is THAT time going to come from?

Getting stressed out will not help me or my family, so I'm taking a deep breath, reminding myself what's important about the season, and resolving to take self-care action by being kind to myself t his holiday season.

My December resolutions:

  1. I will say No to more party invitations. I love holiday parties, and I love seeing people I don't see except this time of year. But going out more than two nights in a row is exhausting and throws us off of our routines. So I'm going to try this response next time: “I'm so sorry we won't be able to join you, but let's get together in January and treat ourselves to some catch-up time.”
  2. I will keep snacks out of sight. We will get all kinds of wonderful goodies as Christmas gifts from dear friends and neighbors, and it will be so tempting to keep it out and grab a handful of tasty tidbits every time I go in and out of the kitchen. There's nothing more depressing than gaining weight over the holidays, and my downfall is cheese, crackers, nuts, and chips (oh, and Chex Mix!). So I will keep it wrapped up and out of sight unless I'm serving them to those dear visitors.
  3. I will say No to more appointments and commitments. I have client jobs and deadlines. This is not the month to take on more commitments, so I'll learn to say, “I'm so sorry I can't take anything else on until the new year. Can this wait? If not, I'd be happy to refer you to someone.” Now how hard is that?
  4. I will walk every day. This makes so much difference in reducing my stress level. If I can't get to the gym—or the weather's too bad outside—I will make a game out of going up and down the steps and pretend I'm in a national forest. (Do you think spraying pine-scented air freshener would help with the illusion?
  5. I will clean the kitchen every night before I go to bed. That means no dishes left in the drying rack and no books, electronic gadgets, or mail left on the counter. There's something immensely calming about coming downstairs in the morning to a clean and decluttered kitchen.
  6.  I will count my blessings every morning. I actually do this pretty much every day already, but it's the perfect time to remind myself that none of the things that usually stress me out during the holidays is anywhere near as important as letting family and friends know they're important and remembering that Christ's birth is the reason for the season. Everything else pales in comparison.
  7. I will not worry about answering every Christmas card before Christmas. Some of you may get New Year's Cards or even Valentine's cards instead of Christmas cards. Hopefully an unexpected card and message from me will be even more special than one of many you get between now and Christmas.

How will you be kind to yourself this year?

What strategies have you used that help you enjoy the holidays and embrace the peace on earth we're supposed to seek? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Photo credit: “Woman holding Christmas Gifts” by Iko via DollarPhotoClub
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