I feel like we were JUST talking about this. Yet here we are again. ;)

It's hard to fathom it is once again this time of year. What is weeks will end up feeling like it all zipped by in a few days. Once the spiral of activity begins, you'll feel like you're whirling down through a pretty, jovial, but hectic spiral of holiday lights, meals you must prepare, and various office parties and family get-togethers.

Inevitably, as Christmas gets closer many of us find ourselves feeling completely off the rails and struggling just to keep the basic daily doings going.

I feel you. And I think some of us are feeling a little pressure to make Christmas EXTRA special this year after last year's quarantine. Please give yourself some grace. Please take care of yourself along the way. Find a moment or two to just stop and take a breath, or whatever "relaxing" looks and feels like to you.

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Having a plan ahead of time really, really helps. I speak from personal experience.

Here's a few ideas to help you solidify routines and activities that will strengthen you before the happy chaos commences:

Pick and time every morning and meditate or pray.

Whatever you prefer is fine. The point here is to take a few moments--maybe five minutes or up to thirty, if you have the time. Meditate or spend time in the quiet and pondering what you're grateful for in these moments. As simple as it sounds, just this simple activity can change the entire tone of your day.

Plan a simpler gift-giving holiday.

I know, I know. Many of us talk about this every year, but really at the end of the day, the thing that makes the holidays special is spending time with people we love. The "things" we give each other don't necessarily have to be as grand.

My family and I have long since ceased the present explosion that we used to engage in when my sister and I were younger. Ya know what? I enjoy the day so much more now than I used to because it is so much less stressful. Talk with you family ahead of time to see if you can get everyone on the same page. Who knows? They may be relieved, too.

Give yourself the gift of a spa day.

Hey, some of you may already indulge. However, for some people who spend so much time caring for everyone else around them, they struggle with "wasting" time on themselves. It is NOT a waste.

When you feel good, it reverberates around you and helps others feel better, too. So call. Right now and schedule a massage or a few--or a facial. Whatever it is that'll help you relax and feel cared for.

Start going to bed a little bit earlier and get up at the same time everyday.

OK, this is already a challenge, no matter the season. However, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of having good sleep habits. That is when our bodies heal and sort things out, if you will, in our minds. It helps relieve stress. If you're not sleeping well consistently, it is affecting every hour of your day. The busy holiday season only amplifies it.

At the end of the day, the point is to celebrate the meaning of the season and spend time with those you love. Don't let the trappings of the holiday season TRAP YOU.

Season greetings. <3

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