My top 10 tips to find your JOY & keep it this season

It's that time of year.

We literally see the word JOY everywhere we look....

but, then we also see people trampling over each other at the malls to get the best deals, road rage is at it's finest this month, & everyone we know has a list they're making & checking twice.

It seems that the older we get, the less we pay attention to the actual JOY of the season. Luckily, for me, I get to work with kids every single day who remind me what it's all about- the magic, the moments, & the wonder.

so, how do we find our own JOY & how do we keep it throughout this holiday madness?

these are 10 tips that work for me that you can try, too, if you're feeling stressed, pressed for time, or ready for 2016 to come so you can be done with all of the hustle & bustle.

1. GO TO BED EARLY DURING THE WEEK
The holiday weekends are jam packed with parties, events, shopping extravaganzas. For me, I know I don't get nearly enough sleep on the weekends because I'm trying to keep up with everyone & everything. During the week, especially this time of year when it gets dark so early, it's important to get enough sleep! 10pm is going to be my new bedtime so I can maintain my energy & still get the important things done.

2. DO THOSE ANNOYING THINGS- THIS TIME OF YEAR ONLY COMES ONCE & YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT AT THIS LIFE!
Dreading waiting 3 hours in line to see Santa at the mall with the kiddos? Don't want to venture downtown to see the tree lit up because of crowds? Afraid of the mall because of angry shoppers trying to get the best doorbuster deal? Do it, anyway. Even if you know they are going to cry, scream, and not sit on his lap for a picture. Even if it's -10 degrees outside. You'll be thankful you have those memories later on in life. & so will your loved ones.

3. EAT THE COOKIE.
Life is short. Eat the dang cookie. & don't torture yourself over it, either!

4. REMEMBER ALL YOU HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR.
Yesterday, my family & I did tip #2- we ventured downtown to see the tree & hang out in market square where there are lots of local vendors selling their jewelry, ornaments, handcrafted gifts, etc... It was crowded & busy & we couldn't even find a table to sit together at lunch & I was HANGRY. Right when it seemed I had reached my height of annoyance, an elderly lady went to sit down behind Dave & she fell. He jumped up to help her & helped restore her confidence & all of a sudden, it was like God shown a light on all I have-- an amazing, caring, faithful family who just wanted to spend time together. That is not something to take lightly. Each night, I write down something I am grateful for & why. I cannot let this habit go, especially this time of year, when it is so important to keep it at the forefront.

5. MEDITATE.
Life gets stressful. Seriously... take 10 minutes to quiet your mind & your thoughts to help you get through. I use an app on my phone called Insight Timer. There are lots of guided meditations of varying lengths so I can pick what I have time for & what I need in that moment. I always finish feeling refreshed & ready to take on the next part of my day.

6. DRINK ENOUGH WATER!
Did you know you're supposed to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day? Even if you overindulge in the adult beverages, make sure to keep your H2O in check! Staying hydrated can help you fight off colds, boost your energy, & keep everything else inside of you working properly! Need an extra kick? add some lemon & apple cider vinegar to a good 8ounces to keep you feeling awake & aware!

7. DON'T FOCUS SO MUCH ON THE PRICE TAG.
In years past, I would focus on getting the people I love the most flashy, expensive gift I could find because I thought that showed how much I cared. This is false. The most cherished gifts I've ever received are ones that have come from thought & heart. The most precious gifts I've ever given anyone is my time. Instead of giving "things" this year, think about giving experiences. Maybe all that friend of yours needs is a girls day to get your nails done before holiday parties instead of that Tory Burke purse?

8. TAKE PICTURES. TAKE A LOT OF THEM.
You never know when you'll look back & someone won't be around for your holiday's any more. Take pictures. Take a lot of them.

9. PAY IT FORWARD-- BE KIND.
Theres are so many people out there who are struggling financially, physically, mentally- what can you do for them to make their holiday's a little more joyful? Maybe you have a military family in your community who's spouse is overseas- take care of them emotionally. Maybe you have friends or family you know who are battling a health issue- cook them dinner. Maybe it's trash night & you can just drag your neighbors garbage cans back up their driveway. Being kind is free. Remember to be kind.

10. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
For me, this comes in the form of sweat. I do not skip my workouts during the holiday season because it is THAT much more important for me to keep a clear mindset & on track with my health & fitness. That does NOT mean that I never indulge- I do. Sweets, wine, lots of cheese- I consume it all. But, I make sure I get a good sweat going, every single day. & I make sure to surround myself around others who do that same to keep me motivated & accountable.

I hope these 10 tips help & would love to hear your favorite tips to stay full of CHEER and holiday SPIRIT!

All my joy

Taylor


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