Plan Your Holiday Self-Care
By Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach
The holiday season is almost upon us. Have you thought ahead about how you're
going to handle the tempting treats, dinner parties, extra goodies everywhere
you look, pot luck dinners and late nights?
If you haven't, you're not alone. Planning is boring. It's much more glamorous,
dramatic and spontaneous to fly by the seat of your pants.
And what can happen when you don't plan your holiday self-care? Overindulgence
and other unhealthy choices can have many negative effects, including:
Fa lah lah lah lah! Doesn't sound like much fun!
Self-care is all about choice! What kind of holiday season would you like
to have this year?
Here are some ways to incorporate planning, to ensure that you maintain your
healthy self-care habits this holiday season:
Plan your meals and snacks
Sit down once a week and look ahead. Which days are you planning to eat out?
Which days do you need to eat on the run? Which days will you have people over
for dinner? What would you like to eat more of? What would you like to eat
less of? It's all up to you, just plan it that way! Plus, plan to pack along
some healthy snacks to keep your energy up on those long days of extra errands,
parties and other holiday events.
Plan your groceries
Once your meal and snack planning is done, quickly jot down what you'll need
from the grocery store. Shopping without a list makes it easy to forget what
we need and even easier to fill our cart with what we DON'T need (and what
might be unhealthy for us). You can also keep a running list all week and add
things as soon as you run out.
Plan out your day
Have you ever gotten to the end of a whirlwind
day and felt like you'd been hanging on for dear life, being led around helplessly?
is all about choice. Plan your day. And then consult your plan when someone
to schedule a meeting or make other demands on your time. Will adding that
meeting add too much stress to your day? What can you cut out if you're
adding that? Also, think about the places you'll go to run your errands — which
are located near each other, or near other places you'll be?
Plan your 'no's'
When someone asks you to do something, bring something or eat something, remember
that you have a choice! In the case of doing something or bringing something,
tell them you need to check and get back to them. Think before automatically
When it comes to food, if you've decided that you're not going to eat something
or that you're going to limit it, also plan out how you'll say no. You
don't need to go into any details — 'no, thank you' is enough. You
probably already know which situations will be the toughest and which people
will be most difficult
to say no to. Plan ahead.
Plan your spending
Extra spending can really sneak up on us at this time of year. Take a careful
look ahead and try and predict your expenses. Having a plan will make it easier
to allot some money to everything that's wanted and needed. Also, make sure
to plan for the unexpected and have a 'miscellaneous' category (if you keep
track of what you spend there, you can add it to your holiday spending plan
Plan your treats
There are probably things you look forward to eating at this time of year.
Your favourite recipes, family traditions, and store-bought specialties. If
you make choices and remember the key word 'moderation', you'll be able to
savour these treats while saying no to the things you didn't really want anyway.
Plan to enjoy others
If there are people you're going to be with over the holidays who challenge
you or push your buttons, plan how you'll stay calm and focus on what you like
or appreciate about them.
Plan to be thankful
Take the time, each day, to reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Find
ways to measure the year's gifts and accomplishments.
Plan to help others
One way to connect with what we each
have to be thankful for is to focus our attention on the less fortunate members
of our community — those
who are isolated, sick or without shelter or food. There's lots of ways you
can help and many
of them don't involve money. Volunteer your time to visit someone, or organize
a clothing or food drive. Contact agencies in your community for more ideas.
Plan to celebrate
Lastly, think about what the holidays mean to you, or what you WANT them to
mean. How do you want to celebrate? Plan to make it happen!
Starting a planning routine now will have you well into the habit by the time
the holidays get into full swing. Give yourself the first gift this year —
self-care. It'll keep you in a giving mood well into the New Year. •
© Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services. 04/10/05
About the Author | More by Linda Dessau
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting www.genuinecoaching.com.