If you're anything like me, there's not much you can do to avoid the chaos the holidays bring — last-minute shopping, mile-long gift lists, and huge family dinners. But what if I could share ways you could keep the real meaning of Christmas in sight this holiday season? Here are a few things you can do to reduce stress and keep the real reason for Christmas front and center.
Remember You're Part of God's Plan
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
- Luke 2:14 NKJV
As you head into the holiday season, stop for a moment and sit with God. Ask Him what His best strategy is for you this Christmas. How does He want to use you to fulfill His plan?
I encourage you to find ways to learn more about the reason we celebrate Christmas. Perhaps create a type of Biblical advent calendar by reading a chapter of the book of Luke every day from December 1st to December 24th. The book of Luke conveniently has 24 chapters and is a great way to study the life of Jesus. Father God sent his Son into the world so we could know Him. And knowing Father God is the greatest gift of all.
Manage Your Schedule
When you plan your holiday schedule, it can be tempting to write down the things you want to do and then try to fit them all into your calendar. However, this approach will likely lead you to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Here is how you can make a calendar that leaves room for what is meaningful:
1. Place all your options on one calendar.
2. Look at the calendar and examine the big picture.
3. Remove the items that may lead to overwhelm or do not fit your overall vision for the season.
4. Use this finalized calendar as the master guide, giving yourself grace if you need or decide to make changes.
Maintain Healthy Habits
During the holidays, it's easy to get caught up in the festivities and lose focus on your health. Here are some tips for maintaining your healthy habits during this busy time of year.
1. Keep your daily exercise routine.
It might be tempting to skip workouts during the holidays, but it's critical to keep up with your exercise routine as much as possible. If you're traveling or attending parties, find ways to incorporate activity into your day, such as taking strolls around parks or parking farther from the door at stores and parties, ensuring you have to walk more than usual.
2. Stay hydrated.
Water is essential for good health. Drinking plenty of water this time of year helps you maintain your energy. You'll also digest food better when you drink enough water. A bonus of good hydration is that your skin will glow at all the holiday functions. Make sure you drink enough each day to keep your body running efficiently.
3. Maintain your diet.
Eat a small meal before you go out; so you don't overdo it when you arrive at your destination. When at an event with lots of food available (such as a holiday party), eat small portions of healthier foods first (like fruits or vegetables) and then fill up on less-healthy items later in the evening.
The Christmas season is a busy time that can feel very stressful. Above, I shared some ideas for keeping your holidays balanced and healthy. Hopefully, these tips were helpful, but don't hesitate to leave more thoughts in the comments section below.