T minus 5 days until Christmas. Seriously, WHERE does the time go?!
At this point, I feel like energy starts to run low and it’s when we need it the most to get all of the last minute things done. Oh, and there are always last minute things to do. Are you ready?
The next several days have a way of bringing out the realness in everyone. And by that, I mean some of us can get a bit on the Grinchy side. We’ve all been there. All you have to do is think about the mall parking lot and you can feel it. It’s not at all pretty. Or fun. And it’s definitely not pretty fun.
So today, let’s take a moment to talk about how to thrive versus just survive the crunch time of the holidays. I think just a few little things can make all the difference, especially when you encounter someone who you know did NOT get up on the right side of the Christmas tree that morning.
So here goes. And if you have any tried and true ideas to add, please feel free!
1. SLOW DOWN. Wait, what? Did she just say to slow down? I ain’t got time for that lady!–I get it, that’s why we call it crunch time, because there is no time. But when I process through all the times I had to be somewhere or do something in a very limited amount of time, and I rushed, about 90% of the time things didn’t end pretty. First, I have bruises, mainly on my shins (I trip a lot) from the times I didn’t slow down. Things have broken or situations became all the more stressful during those times that I didn’t just step back and take it easier on myself. Didn’t the turtle say, “Slow and steady wins the race”? Well, it’s some amazing food for thought.
2. Go out of your way to be kind. Our hearts can often shrink to Grinch size during the most wonderful time of the year and it usually has to do with other people. This guy took my parking spot, she won’t get out of my way, why is he taking so long… you get the point. We have a short fuse and suddenly have no patience for anyone. But imagine if during these next few days you went out of your way, as in actually sought out situations where you can do something nice for someone else. I will tell you since I have had Sam, the most impact others have had on my day has just been from going out of their way to open and hold a door for us when they see I have the stroller. And that takes no more than a couple seconds and guess what else? It’s free! Kindness is contagious and when you’re seeking it out, the domino effect will begin. And you will suddenly feel all the happier–even with a long To-Do list.
3. Breathe. This one really needs no explanation. The power of just a few slow, deep breaths could literally change the world. The times we say things we regret, do things we wish we wouldn’t have, etc. could easily have not happened had we just stopped to take a few inhales. You don’t have to go to a yoga class to breathe, you can do it absolutely wherever you are.
4. Nourish yourself. Don’t find yourself the main character of a Snicker’s commercial. Being hungry and the holidays don’t mesh well. Keep snacks with you and drink water. Don’t let your busyness take away from taking care of your basic needs. And furthermore, don’t cut back on food because of the treats you want to indulge in. Eat when you are hungry, and also enjoy the fun foods of the season. Going to holiday parties starving puts you in a bad mood and also sets you up for bingeing and completely missing out on the joy of the celebratory foods. Stay fueled and you will be a happy camper.
5. Move. Take a walk, dance to some Christmas carols, do some sort of movement that brings you joy. It doesn’t have to be a full blown workout, but sometimes we allow the rush to sweep us away from any physical activity which then brings down our mood and our energy. Adding a little movement can improve your outlook on the whole day so add a touch of sweat where you can.
6. Give Presence. Notice what I did there? Your full presence during this season is worth more than any present ever given. When you are with family, be there, completely. Turn off the phone and talk to your loved ones. Ask the cashier how her day is going. Say please and thank you–and say it a lot. Let the people around you know that your time with them is precious. And even if you still have things that need to get done, set them aside for the moments that will make the memories, the ones that will stay with you for a lifetime.
No matter what you do, December 25th is gong to be here when it is. You are the only one who can impact how you make it through the next 5 days. Will you thrive or simply survive? My hope is that you thrive. In fact, I know that you will. I can already sense you’ve slowed things down a bit, your breathing is calmer and perhaps you are even smiling a bit. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Let’s get back to number four on our list: Nourish yourself.
Yes, please don’t let this one slip this week. Take care and fuel your body. You know it and I know that it puts you in the right mood. And you know I have got you covered in that department.
Two words: Energy Bites.
I love them and if you have been around here long enough, you know my energy bites and my overnight oats are the two things I cannot live without. These Citrus Ginger Energy Bites have the taste of the holidays with a touch of gingerbread flavor but the citrus gives it a bit of zest. And ginger and citrus can be naturally energizing so these energy bites give you the full bang for your buck!
These only take a handful of ingredients including cashews, pecans, dates, orange zest and spices. They make the perfect toss in your purse for when you need a boost and then go!
Ginger is not everyone’s favorite and that’s okay. Perhaps you would prefer something still with a bit of citrus but without the ginger. I suggest these Blueberry Lemon Energy Bites. These are my husband and father in law’s absolute favorite. They will put you in a good mood since they have a taste of summer to them.
As for me, I am a huge fan also of my Carrot Cake Energy Bites. If you say carrot cake to me, I am pretty much all yours. And since you all know I love my oats, these No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites are on rotation in our house weekly.
None of these sounding like your jam? Well then check out the whole list of No Bake Bites and choose your favorite. IF not, you are all set to make these Citrus Ginger bites today!
- 3/4 c raw cashews
- 3/4 c raw pecans
- 9-10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 T Molasses
- Zest of one orange
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- Dash of sea salt
- In a food processor, process pecans and cashews until grainy and fine.
- Add in all other ingredients and process until a dough begins to form.
- Roll into bite sized balls and chill for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Keep refrigerated for up to one week.
- Any combination of raw nuts should work. I like cashews and pecans the best.