Start Planning

I’m a scheduler.  I also have a husband whose work schedule gets insane at this time of year.  We are very grateful for the added business at the restaurant.  However, we have to mentally prepare ourselves and give a heads up to the kids that Daddy just isn’t going to be available much until Christmas.

Michael and I sat down the other day with a day planner, highlighter, and pen in hand.  Almost every day of December is highlighted because Michael is working.  And many of those days are double shifts.  We have two days in the weeks preceding Christmas that he is actually off the whole day.  One of those days will include a date night for us and the other is a Cub Scout banquet for Noah.

I will be spending a lot of time with just me and the kids and I will need to get them out of here many mornings so Michael can rest in peace.  School time will be relocated a couple of days. Somehow I will figure out how to ship gifts, wrap gifts, send cards, bake cookies, attend holiday events, teach school, exercise, plan meals, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. in the midst of Michael’s absence.  Do you understand why I got the planner out?

I’m sure your house and schedule get a bit crazy as well.  I think it is fair to warn you as I warn myself, to plan ahead.  Take a little time today to:

1) Think about what activities are the BEST for your family.  There are lots of Christmassy ( is that a word?) activities to participate in right now. Will doing ALL of them make you feel good or make you stuff a fistful of holiday cookies in your mouth at midnight because you are exhausted and stressed?  Make a list.  Cross out some activities.  Look at your list again and cross off some more.  Be conservative.  It is important to practice saying “no” now as a little rehearsal for January when you say “no” deliberately so you can say “yes” to more exercise and healthy eating.

2) Figure out your stressors.  What will cause you to numb yourself with piles of those peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies?  What will have you downing egg nog?  I don’t have to describe any scenarios.  You already know what they are.  If you need any help with recall just watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  You know what?  Watch it anyhow….laughter helps fight stress.

Once you have determined your stressors think about your options.  For example, if you need an excuse to take a breather when “that” person comes to visit, I hereby give you permission to mention my name as you take a 10 minute walk down the street to “chill out”.  Rehearse the following line, ” This woman ‘Heather’ at this a new healthy living blog called “Running Free In High Heels” says it is really beneficial to the metabolism to take a ten minute walk every half hour the entire holiday season.   I actually have to do this.  I committed to her blog and I wouldn’t want to disappoint her.”  (If you need this to be true I will type it right here: I’m telling all my readers to take a ten minute walk every half hour the entire holiday season.  Now hup-to folks!  Okay it’s real now.)

I think you get my meaning here.  For instance, plan nights in your week when you intentionally go to bed early to play catch up on sleep.  Make it an “absolutely has to be done” appointment with your bed. Sleep deprivation makes a person weak toward unhealthy foods because the body is looking for sources of energy. Lack of sleep stresses your body and mind. 

3) Plan a date time just for you….a date with yourself at the movies, a pedicure, reading a book at the coffee shop.  Your date with yourself must not include a shopping list, a trip to the post office, getting anywhere near a shopping center unless you will walk with blinders into the bookstore/coffee shop/movie theater.

4) Plan to exercise.  Plan where you are going to go, what you are going to do there, and get your clothes ready. 

5) Plan to eat….healthy meals that is.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat any of the fun foods that come with the holidays but feed yourself good nourishing food first.  Plan for food emergencies such as buying a box of protein bars or bags of trail mix to have with you in your purse in case you are stuck in a line (pick one) and you are famished.  Also, plan what goodies you absolutely need to partake of or it just won’t be Christmas.  Then say no to the other goodies.  You don’t have to eat it all. 

6) Eat breakfast.   Every day.  A nourishing breakfast that isn’t all carbs.  Start off the day right because most likely you will miss some sleep this month.  You will need energy that only healthy, long lasting food can offer.

7) Plan to exercise.  Okay, I know I said this already but half of you didn’t take me seriously.  Really, walk away from this post right now and get your planner out and decide when you will exercise this month.  A friend decided recently to exercise upon waking because she wouldn’t have time to talk herself out of it.  Good idea.  In fact I’m going to stop at #7 so you can do this right now.  Go.  Start planning….you’ll be happier with yourself by New Year’s Eve if you do it now.

Happy planning!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nicci on November 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Let me know when you have scheduled “Heather time”. I would be happy to make it “Heather and Nicci time” at Starbucks! Glad to hear you had such a fun Thanksgiving. Talk soon!


  2. Sounds great to me Nicci! I’ll be calling you soon!


  3. Posted by Jessica on December 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    You and your husband both are such great writers! Thank you for taking a little x-tra time to help others be healthier and happier!


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