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Monday, November 5, 2018

Here Come The Holidays!

When does the the crazy "everything has to be perfect for the holidays" attitude begin for you? Hallmark has been running holiday movies since last month and to be honest, I've held off watching them. If I'd started now, by December, instead of being inspired, I'd be getting burned out. By then, I will have also sampled way too many goodies, gained a few pounds and  lost more sleep than is healthy because I'm constantly stressing.

By January, I'm usually a mess and always make a few hopeful resolutions that I have every intention of fulfilling and rarely do. This year, instead of  waiting until I'm a stressed out mess, I'm going to invest in a little self-care, now and give myself permission to not be perfect.

I have a hard deadline around the first of December, and fingers crossed, I will have completed the final revision of an older story and have it ready to load. After that, I'm only working four hours per day instead of my usual six. I'll feel guilty for a bit but I know if I take it easy now, I won't need a month to recover from the holidays. Hopefully, this plan will help me achieve more rather than less so that I can meet my 2019 writing goals.

I really do enjoy the holiday season but this year I'm going to try a new strategy so I can avoid the crash and burn phase that usually happens afterward. It sounds simple but eating right and staying hydrated are two of the most important parts of my plan. I tend to get busy and forget to eat lunch, then try and make up my nutritional needs by eating a bigger dinner. Really not a good plan for me. What works best is beginning the day with a good breakfast and that means a balanced breakfast that includes some quality protein. A quick smoothie made with a little orange juice, a banana, plain yogurt and a scoop of protein powder gets my day started better than anything.

I used to reach for a cup of coffee at the first sign of a headache but these days, I reach for a glass of water and find it works much better. Staying hydrated can be a big problem if I get busy so I try to keep a bottle of water at my desk. 

Exercise isn't something I particularly enjoy these days because it cuts a big chunk out of my day but there's no getting around the fact that as a writer, I need to get up and move. I actually have more energy and sleep better if I exercise. I've yet to find anything that makes the treadmill a whole lot of fun but listening to Bowie belt out "We Can Be Heroes" while I walk, comes close.

An important part of my self-care is carving out some time during the day to do something I find relaxing or rejuvenating. My guilty pleasure is a massage. Maybe yours is trying a new hairstyle or treating yourself to a facial or mani-pedi. Take a fifteen minute break and read something fun:) You don't need to spend a lot of money, you just need to give yourself permission to take the time to recharge your batteries. 

FYI: a really quick, inexpensive facial that makes your skin glow: Mix a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt with about a teaspoon of honey, slather it on your clean face and neck and leave it on about 15 or 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. If you want to feel really special you can mist on a little rosewater after you've rinsed off the mask.

What's one thing you believe you could squeeze into your busy schedule that might allow you to relax and enjoy the holidays a little more?

Whatever you decide, I wish you well!

Paris Brandon

USA Today bestselling author Paris Brandon writes paranormal romantic suspense, contemporary, erotic, and historical romance. When not dreaming up stories featuring heroes who aren’t intimidated by strong heroines, she can be found strolling through antique and thrift stores searching for vintage treasures, or communing with nature, which is code for sitting on the patio with a cup of tea and a good book.

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