It’s Time for Holiday Prep

by karen on November 7, 2019

As we turn to the holidays and all of their beauty and joy, there’s no better time to take a moment to ensure our mental stamina is up for the challenge. With that holiday joy does come stress, because even though the decorating, card sending, baking, shopping, wrapping, cooking, and getting together with loved ones is wonderful, it can be hard to juggle all of the added seasonal activities.

But have no fear. Integrate these tips to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years without running yourself into the ground. Your essential for success will come in making time for yourself. You’ll accomplish all you desire, with energy and good health to enjoy these next few months.

Make a Holiday Game Plan

It may not be romantic, but a good plan is key to having the holiday you want and the mental health you need to enjoy it all.

Block some time. Brainstorm on what you want your holidays to include. Write it all down, including the big and the small.

Highlight the essentials. Complete the thought “It just wouldn’t be the holidays without ________.”

Take a look at what didn’t get highlighted. Can you do without these? Have you done those things all these years because it was someone else’s expectations? Can the unhighlighted items be paired down? Blended into one of the essentials? Might there be someone in your life that would enjoy helping you out?

Get out your calendar. Pencil in the dates of your holiday activities. Be realistic with the time and energy needed to complete your holiday plan. It’s often during this part of planning that a little more scaling back might occur. Would it be an even better holiday if you didn’t do quite as much baking? Or give a few less gifts? Or host a potluck instead of footing the whole lavish spread.

Include Your Mental Health in Your Holiday Plan

Practice relaxation. Every day. Find a few things that work to keep your stress levels down, your energy levels up, and your thoughts cheerful. Whether you start the day with yoga, end it with your list of gratitudes, or deep breathe and do shoulder shrugs during your day, a few minutes of centering your mind and body each day will keep you strong.

Eat healthy. Healthy eating and holiday eating don’t have to oppose one another. No doubt all the holidays over 60 or so days encompass more than their share of eating, but you can get a lot of mileage out of keeping your eating plan simple. Eat regularly throughout the day and include wholesome choices, be selective with the treats and seconds, but don’t deprive yourself.

Exercise. If you aren’t doing any exercise currently, start with a little something you can commit to. Maybe it’s a walk around the block at lunchtime or doing some chair squats once an hour while at your desk. If you are regularly exercising and stressed about keeping it up through the New Year, perhaps scale back a bit. We’re going for less stress, remember, and maybe a shorter routine or a day off here and there is in order.

Get enough sleep. We undervalue sleep every day. Don’t! It’s crucial to our health, both mental and physical. It’s “easy” to stay up later during the holidays to get everything done, but avoid that temptation. You’ll enjoy every holiday moment that comes your way when you’ve had sufficient sleep, and when you’ve made a realistic holiday plan that encompasses rest.

Surround yourself with good people. Your holiday plan should start and end with friends and loved ones. Not only because you want to spend time with them, but also because you can give each other the support needed for all of you to be healthy and well, together.

Now that your holiday plan is centered around being in the moment, breathing and laughing, and making time for restoration through relaxation and good sleep, surrounded by those you love, whatever you do will bring you joy and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

White Label SEO January 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂


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