Lunch? Who has time for lunch?

Those were the precise words I screamed into my cell a year ago this December when two friends called to arrange our Christmas lunch. ‘Lunch, lunch? I don’t have time for lunch…’ Those were my very words.

And then it dawned on me how shouldered down with life’s responsibilities and demands I was becoming.

How busy, overwhelmed and caught up in the usual pre-Christmas frenzy are you becoming? We can feel the pace and energy of the island changing as we shift into high gear for this wonderful time of year.

Are you beginning to feel the pressure of gift giving? Worrying about how much you can afford to spend this year? Thinking of Christmas dinner with all the food preparations to do?

At work, are you stuck with extra paperwork and projects that really could have waited till February had not the corporate zeal for year-end finalities of reports and submissions been piled on top of us at holiday time?

Whatever may be causing your pressure boiler to begin steaming with stress, Lifestyles offers the following tips for keeping you balanced and relaxed, and able to feel the enjoyment of Christmas.

Allow extra time to move from place to place. Traffic is picking up and the usual road-ragers are evident amongst us, tail gating and fender bending. Slow down and take your time, ignore them.

Avoid heavy traffic areas whenever possible.

Do nothing else while driving. Why are we digging in our purses, ladies, while we drive? Multi-tasking as usual – looking for lipstick, the shopping list, a pen, gum, cell phones and anything else that seems urgent as we wind through traffic.

Keep your regular routine of exercise as much as you can in spite of extra work at the office. Be creative and disciplined; get up earlier to accomplish more.

Release tension, anxiety and worry with sunset beach walks, cool ocean swims, a yoga class, massage, prayer or quiet afternoon alone.

Set your finances in order, determine how much you are able to spend and remember those less fortunate and give where you can.

Make time for your friends and family in a gentle and relaxed way without overdoing the social calendar and burning out.

My two friends had me laughing at myself last December when we finally did make that lunch date together. And what a wonderful time I almost missed.