This time of year stresses me out. All the parties, all the shopping, all the cooking and of course, all the sugar. I feel like I zip around, zooming from thing to thing with no time to rest and relax. I absolutely love it all but feel like I don’t actually enjoy it. 


I’m stuck thinking of the next thing looming on my to-do list.


Normally I would try to plan as much as possible, make everything fit into the schedule, and stress eat my way through. I even started signing up for early spring running races so I had an excuse to stress eat while still fitting into my pants.


No bueno!


This year I’m tackling the stress head-on. I absolutely love the holidays. I love the cold. I get this weird sense of joy from my cheeks turning rosy in the chilly air. I get giddy thinking about annual cookie baking with my mom (Mama Straws). We watch 30’s and 40s’ musicals and spend a full day together in the kitchen, and will make cookie runs to wherever my dad (Papa Straws) is camped out watching sports.


So why am I so darn stressed about something I love?


Say no to stress. And no to treat boxes for our friends, because one less sweet thing is appreciated. No to extra side dish making for parties (wine, beer, or the always needed sassy kitchen towel for our hosts). And it’s no to events that do not include our closest, dearest, friends and family.


This year I’m saying yes to enjoying the holidays. Yes to self-care. Yes to weekly yoga. Yes to calm nights watching Christmas movies with my fiance. Yes to using the freezer meals I made this summer (bless you past me). Yes to dedicated reading time.  And yes to journaling.


-Kristen Strawhacker, PT, DPT