If there’s one word to keep in mind as inspiration for you to live out your best festive season yet, it’s balance. Escape from worry and guilt with a bit of pre-planning and a whole lot more love for yourself! ‘Hack’ into these five personas to find the balance between having carefree fun in the moment and keeping your dignity, self-respect and bank balance in check.
1. The gracious guest
Between year-end work functions, bookclub or wine club dinners, last lunches with friends before leaving for your holiday, or hosting family from out of town, you might start to wish you weren’t so socially connected. But there’s no need to ruin your own fun by tiring yourself out before Christmas. It’s okay to say no to certain invites - be selective about which events you prioritise - choose the ones that make you feel like jumping for joy! You’ll appear to be more of a social butterfly when you’re shining with glee in the company of people you enjoy being around. If you haven’t been asked to contribute to a meal or take your own drinks to a party, take along a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers for the hosts to show your appreciation. Your hosts will more than likely return the favour when you invite them to your party - which you’ll have energy left over to host, because you didn’t over commit to events you felt you had to attend to ‘keep up appearances’.
2. The Power Planner
Keep clear on your plans for the festive season as well as those happening just after, by diarising them or setting reminders for yourself. This way you won’t feel like you’re trying to remember too many things, along with who to buy gifts for, brainstorming an inspiring Christmas lunch menu and making sure you’ve tied up all those loose ends at work. Make lists on your phone so that you always have them handy. List: who to buy gifts for with potential gift ideas next to each name; a handful of recipes or meal ideas (for those days when you haven’t a clue what to cook and you’re on duty on the family holiday cooking roster); events to attend; as well as any events or important things to remember during the first two weeks of January.
3. The Goddess of holiday wellness
Replace guilt with joy. Make a pact with yourself to enjoy the festive season, along with all the good food, change in routine and possibly limited access to a gym. You can still eat delicious meals and have dessert - just don’t over-indulge. Try not to have dessert every single day or share with your partner when you do. Eat all the elements of the glorious meal on offer but stick to one plate of food. If you do drink a glass of wine make it a spritzer. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks and go for the sugar-free tonic option when mixing your designer gin cocktails. Between meals, get outdoors and be active in some way. Whether it’s a walk, a jog, a beach pop-up yoga class, frisbee with the family, bat and ball, or a long swim in the ocean - keep that summer body moving each day. Holidays are a great opportunity to explore new ways to be active, so see the time away from the gym as another reason to be joyful! It will make going back to gym in January much less of a drag.
4. The resourceful gatherer
Be the best ‘gatherer’ that you can be by doing your gift buying and holiday specific shopping behind the scenes. You’ll avoid the queues and be less likely to over-spend through the distraction of pretty things specifically displayed to lure shoppers in. Strategic shopping lists are best supplemented by the helpful prompts laid out for us by our favourite online stores; ‘gifts for him’, ‘top 10 children’s gifts’, ‘gifts under R200’ are the type of prompts that make shopping via online stores a breeze. These ideas might inspire you to create your own home-made versions or add a personalised touch to a bought item. Beautifully packaged home baked cookies (especially versions made for loved ones with food allergies), a crocheted blanket, adding a special photograph to a frame - these thoughtful gifts require the skill of the Resourceful Gatherer. Browse the online stores to gather your ideas and search for those independent online stores that keep the kind of gifts one doesn’t see in the average mall. Ear mark the Christmas markets in your area and visit them with friends to browse for decor ideas, or purchase festive decor and gifts that are handmade rather than mass produced. With all your shopping done by early December you’ll have loads of time to enjoy holiday activities and receive extra grateful hugs from friends and family for giving such thoughtful gifts.
5. The goal getter
Take ‘New Year’s resolutions’ out of your vocabulary. Goal or intention setting is the new buzz term for working at becoming a better you. The great thing about goal setting is that there’s no pressure about starting on the 1st of January. It’s a public holiday and most people are still on annual leave so why break the flow of fun with new goals that might be harder to maintain at a holiday destination? Stay in your high vibe without feeling bad by listing the goals (while lying on the beach) that you intend to work towards so that by the time you get back to your normal routine, you’re ready to start with no excuses and no guilt hangover - only happy memories to keep you motivated throughout the year.
Choose one or embody them all - either way you’ll be surprised by how far a bit of forward thinking goes towards feeling fuzzy and festive, and to allowing you to share some of that festive sparkle with others too.
Date Published: 28 November 2018