Vroom, swishhh, whirl….RING! Can you hear it? The holiday season has ramped up and the energy can be disquieting. More emails, phone calls, parties and To Do’s!  

Here are 7 things you can to do stay on track without losing your temper or your sanity.

Stick to a routine. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to throw your routine out the window. Get up, brush your teeth, dress the kids, make breakfast, get outside for an activity… Whatever your holiday routine, write it down, post it up and live by it.

  • Routines enhance mastery and the brain loves predictability.
  • You can have a general routine if you wish, Morning: breakfast, self-care, kids activity. Lunch: shopping, afternoon activity, nap. Dinner: cook, eat, clean-up, family game, bath, reading, bed etc.
  • Just a few time-slots that take place in a specific order around a similar time each day will help you from getting swept away by the holiday madness.

Get your sleep. You likely have more to do during the holidays, but your sleep is super important. Make sure you catch your shut-eye.

  • Focus on helping your family go to bed and wake up around the same time each weekday.
  • On the weekends, you can shift a spot, but weeknights, even when your kids are out of school, help your bodies remain calm by going to bed and waking up around the same time.

Get Active. Research shows that getting out in the sunlight and being active before you begin your busy day enhances well-being, reduces anxiety and depression and keeps your stress level down. A 15-minute walk around the block, a brief bike ride, walking to the coffee shop all count:).

Got lists? Use em.  Whether or not you are a dedicated list maker, this is a great time to make, keep and use lists. Each morning, get up a bit early and schedule some time to go over your lists.

  • What do you need to do today?
  • What is a priority?
  • What can be done tomorrow or on another date?
  • What can be delegated? Your kids enjoy holiday tasks as well.

Write your tasks out, cross them off when they are completed and then transfer them to a new sheet for the following day. All of this written interaction with your lists will help you accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Develop the habit of “Do it now!” If you think of a task that needs to be done, do it right away instead of just adding it to your list.  You just made breakfast, do the dishes, now. You turned over a load of laundry, fold them, now. You’ll feel energized by how much you accomplish with your new do it NOW attitude.

Don’t be a YES-MOM/DAD. We know you wish to help out at the school holiday event or the office party, but choose wisely. You can find ways to contribute and give back on your own time. Remember, family first, your kids need you and you need your own down-time. So politely say “no” a few times this holiday season.

Make time for Yourself. Whether it’s an aromatherapy bath, a trip to the bookstore, or a pleasant walk along the boulevard, make sure you schedule a bit of time to experience the stillness and calm. Your brain will appreciate the quiet, unfettered joy of a few moments on your own.

The holidays are here and they won’t last long so get planning, stay organized, be kind to one another and experience some joy!

Happy Holidays,

Dr. Lynne