Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Let it sift over and over in your mind what this holiday is really about. Think about the meaning behind the nativity when you walk by it.

Make sure you take at least fifteen minutes a day to chill out, plop down to read a book, glance through a magazine, or talk on the phone without unloading the dishwasher at the same time. (This is the one I need to do most.)

Completely contradicting my last suggestion, get up off the couch and get moving. Hike and inhale the delicious scent of evergreen. Exercise. Your brain will thank you for it.

I swear it’s the best kind of medicine. Become skilled at laughing at yourself. Trust me it is so much fun. When is the last time you had an all out tickle war with your spouse or your children? It is due time.

We seldom sing in groups any other time of year other than now. So go caroling. Belt it out in church. Turn up the Christmas music and let your voice be heard.

Put a little nog in your eggnog this year.

Think of ways to help bolster loved ones. Kind words and gestures go a long way, especially this time of year when many are feeling lonely or sad and struggling because they feel like they should be feeling the opposite. It’s amazing how giving changes who we are on the inside.

Live in the moment. This is the only Christmas we’ll get this year. Try not to rattle off lists in your head or make plans while you’re seated by the fireplace. Be fully present in the here and now.

How do you make conscious choices to stay sane this time of year?

*photo by flickr


  1. "Put a little nog in your eggnog this year." Ha! These are great tips! This year, I finished my gift buying and decorating early. I wanted to enjoy Christmas without fighting the crowds and a long to-do list.

  2. A little time chatting with the husband sans kids, tv, computers, bustle, et. al.

  3. These are so great! I think I'll use a little extra nog this year. :)
    Laughing is a MUST. It definitely keeps me sane.

  4. Wendy, you never fail to bring a smile to my face. Your list is great. Like Julie, I loved the Nog item. You are so clever. Your writing must be filled with Wendyisms like this. I hope you hurry up and get published so I can read your work. =)

    I credit my daughter for keeping me sane during the holidays. A few years back, I finally gave in to her way of doing things. Her ideal is to use the day after Thanksgiving to cut the tree, put it up, decorate it, and pile the previously purchased and wrapped presents under it. I've come close in years past, but this year, since she only had a few precious days with us before returning to college, I accomplished everything on her list, and she left knowing all was in readiness for her upcoming Christmas visit.

    Wow! I can't remember ever heading into the holiday season feeling as prepared. In the future, I'm doing things her way. Ah, the wisdom of the young!

  5. Wrap something up,as in a project I've been working on. So much goes undone this time of year, it is nice to know I've finished something and can put it away (reading a book, writing an article, fixing something in the house, etc.). wb

  6. Deep breaths help me. :-) Ilove that you have a signature on here. Very cool!

  7. I love the freeze one! It's so important to be in the moment. So often, our minds are onto the next thing.

  8. I've been doing lots of sitting the last couple days. Methinks it's about time to get moving.

  9. Great list! I'm trying more than ever to live in the here and now. It's so important especially this time of year. I love this post! I wish you lived near by. You'd make a great neighbor!

  10. Julie, I buy my gifts throughout the year so I don't have to do much's really not my favorite thing. Does it feel good for you to be done early?

    Erica, I'm thankful our kids go to bed early. I feel spoiled the time I get with my man.

    Jennifer, I love to laugh. Absolutely love it!!! And what's nice about nog is that is comes in all types and varities.

    Keli, I'm working on that publishing gig. ;) I bet your daughter is super cool because you were constantly pouring courage into her (encouragement)! And how cool are you to be open to learning from all ages. I love what the youth girls I led teach me. They are fantastic!

    Warren, I went over my list of what I accomplished as soon as my husband walked in the door. It felt good to say I was done with a few things so I know what you mean.

    Jessica, I give all credit to how sharp the site looks to Melanie from Elegant Custom Blogs and deep breaths are magical.

    Susan, I think that one came to me as my fingers were slowly going numb as I typed the post. ;) For the past few days I've been cold to the bone and nothing seems to warm me.

    Sarah, Methinks it's time for me to sit on my duff for a good chunk of time. Just around the bend I will.

    T.Anne, You'd be a kickin' neighbor too! And man, to live where you live...I'm open to a move.

    Thanks for checking in during this crazy busy time of year. As always I love reading your comments and learning from you.

    ~ Wendy

  11. Hi Wendy -

    Love your list!

    Speaking of lists, I make one. It saves me mental gymnastics trying to remember what I'm supposed to be doing. I also make a conscious effort not to think about how many things need my attention. I take a task and just do it!

    Susan :)

  12. These are great! I like to sit with a cup of tea or hot chocolate at night with all the light off except the tree lights. To just sit and sip and reflect. I haven't had the chance to do that yet, so thanks for the reminder. ;)

  13. I've been moving a lot the past week. I'm ready to sit and freeze. I'm ready to remember, for sure. I'm ready for some nog. Love this, Wendy!


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