Whew, we made it through the first one - Happy Thanksgiving everyone (ok I am a little late but I hope it was amazing) - and now on to the next big two: Christmas and New Years! Tis the season as they say. This is the time of year that is marketed to be full of love, giving and satisfied expectations. The flip side is it can be stressful, with pressure to perform, host or visit family (which is always a double edged sword) - and it’s expensive. Even if you are like me and don’t actually buy gifts this time of year anymore, it is still expensive. The travel, eating out, holiday parties... everything adds up.
According to a study by the American Psychology Society - the majority of the work that happened over the Thanksgiving weekend was done by women. The shopping, cooking and cleanup - we did most of the heavy lifting and you know what else? We volunteered to do it. I know that’s what I did... I volunteered, did you? Most of us who volunteered also worked all week, cleaned the house, and managed kids, amongst other things. I hope all of you got to take a day to do nothing this weekend after you got all of the above done.
Let’s figure out how to get through the next few weeks in one piece and with our pocketbooks in tact.
5 Steps to getting through it with Love in your heart and Money in your pocket.
1. Make a budget and stick to it. I stopped buying presents a long time ago. It may sound stingy, but I offer the people on my list an experience. They are all post-Santa age so I have an out. I set aside just enough money and when it’s gone my experiences are too. Some credit unions (the only way to bank these days) offer Christmas Club savings accounts. Enough money is taken out of the your paycheck each week so that when December rolls around you have your Christmas money already on hand. I add my Thanksgiving shopping number and my New Years Eve dress into this number when I am thinking it through.
2. Be Generous! Giving during the holidays is part of the fun for everyone. Being generous does not have to be financial. Take extra time with your people this season. Stop and enjoy the moments you are together, even if it is in the car going to the mall or otherwise sitting in traffic with all your kids/your husband/boyfriend who would rather be watching the game. All of those people are important to you. Take a moment in the chaos everyday to remind them you are grateful for them. This moment of generosity goes a super long way. It is a practice in my house to remind our person/people how grateful we are for each other.
3. Take a break!! As I mentioned above, women volunteer for most of the heavy lifting this season. We make it our personal goal to make sure that our families have everything they need. It has been my observation that, no matter your relationship with your family, women are busy getting everything together during this season - but we are not taking time off from our other lives. If you have some vacation time coming - take a day off to do your shopping, take advantage of online shopping and grocery delivery - do things to give yourself a break. Hands down the BEST thing you can do for yourself is DELEGATE!! Come on Girl, give up some control and get your family and people to help you. Its way more fun when everyone lends a hand. In my family when this happens inevitably there will be an amazing sing-along to all our favorite Broadway show tunes! Everything is more fun when you are singing!
4. Exercise and meditate. I am 100% sure you are sick of hearing this but I am going to say it anyway. As part of your self care this holiday season make sure to schedule exercise on your calendar and stick to it. Find a workout/accountability partner for this month (or longer). Having someone to exercise with not only helps you stick to the plan, it’s way more fun. The meditating you can do on your own. Download an App like: “Meditation Made Simple” by Russell Simmons or try the “Infinity Call” with Kelly Morris and online live facebook group for women only. If you want community, find a meditation group in your community. Mndflmeditation.com is the new hotspot to be quiet here in NYC, but where ever you are, Pick one and find time to sit.
5. Be Loving!! With each event, each purchase, each meal cooked, I challenge you to be loving. Taking the stress out of things is easier if you approach it with love. Breathe and be present. Enjoy the experience of getting it all together and ready. If you forget socks for your husband or wife in his/her stocking or one of your kids gets an extra present it’s ok. No pie for dessert? No worries. Serve up each day of this season with some more love. When you forget (and you will, trust me) and the stress takes over, stop again, breathe and repeat after me - Be Love - it’s all good girl, we got this.
It's getting close to the unveil of my latest adventure! We are starting 2017 with the launch of our BeHER Circles program in NYC in February. What is it you ask?? This is the time to get YOU squared away. Define who you are and who you want to be. Finally, make those big decisions. Take action on those plans. And do it all with the support of 7 women doing the same thing, over the course of 8 weeks. It's time for transformation, my darlings!