Erin Stanczyk |


How To Be Happy For The Holidays Series: Day 1

Lifestyle, Mind + Soul, Rest, Design + Decor, Fashion + StyleErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS SERIES: DAY 1

Happy For The Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, it can be easy to get carried away spending money, working long hours, losing sleep, and not to mention feeling a little blue with the lack of sun rays on these short, gray days. Good News... 

The sun is always shining, even when it’s cloudy!

Every year, come December, I make a vow to myself and those that I love, that I'm going to slow down, chill out, and soak up all of the Christmas spirit that I can—where are my elf shoes?! The more of an adult I become (even though I don't think I'll ever quite feel like one), the busier life seems to get and the faster time seems to go. While it sounds idyllic to do nothing but sit on the couch by the blazing fire with a mug of something warm, Christmas lights glowing inside and out, a cat (or two) on my lap, snowflakes falling, while watching Elf and Christmas Vacation on repeat, it just doesn't happen that way.

Life, work, and obligations march on right through the holiday season, so we need to find ways not only cope with, but to conquer our hang-ups and frustrations. That way, instead of getting through the holidays, we get to enjoy them! During the next seven days, I'm going to be sharing my 7 Holiday Hang-ups + 7 Simple Solutions with you. Here goes hang-up scenario Number One!...

Holiday Hang-up No1

During the winter months, the shorter, and frequently gray days can make it feel like the sun has simply disappeared—and even if it was shining, the freezing cold temperatures make it so hard just to get out of bed and get dressed. You were doing so great getting to the gym, going for jogs outside, and miss catching some rays in the sun—but now putting on clothes in the morning feels a chore. Even when you do manage to bundle up and get to work, by the time you get home the sun has already set and it feels like it's time for bed again!



Bundling up in your favorite winter weather duds can make gray, cold days less of a drag!

Bundling up in your favorite winter weather duds can make gray, cold days less of a drag!

The hubs can vouch that one of my biggest hang-ups is being cold—and I’m always cold! One of my absolute favorite things about the holiday season, though, is digging out all of my plaid button-ups, fluffy scarves, gloves and hats galore, functional yet fab boots (Hunter boots and duck boots are my go-to's!), a warm winter coat, and layering it all on!


I love nothing more than putting on a sassy pair of Lululemon leggings and a puffy coat and going for a walk or run on the path with my dog, Beau! It’s a perfect way to get some fresh air, exercise, and sunshine when it’s cold outside. Just a quick 15-20 minutes is all it takes to feel refreshed and less stir-crazy!


With less sun exposure, I also like to take a Vitamin D3 supplement (the form that’s produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight). Vitamin D supplementation can help improve your winter blues by combatting signs of depression, as well as strengthening your bones and teeth and protecting your immune system to keep you healthy during cold and flu season. I recommend a high quality, medical-grade supplement line, such as Life Extension.

Seven Minute Workout


If it’s just plain freezing outside, or too dark, I also enjoy doing a workout video inside, or using one of my favorite apps, "Seven Minute Workout," just to get the blood flowing! Check out the science behind the 12 perfect moves that give you the best high intensity workout.

Eat The Rainbow

In the winter, it's extra important to be eating a variety of colorful fruits and veggies to keep your immune system strong and give you that extra boost of energy. It may seem like the options are scarce compared to spring and summer, but there are tons of delicious foods in season—just remember the letter "P"—persimmons, pumpkins, pomegranate, and pears! (Don't worry, I'll touch more on food in in a couple of days when I introduce another common holiday hang-up!)

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: DAY 1

Take A Vacation Or Stay-cation

White sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and the sound of crashing ocean waves start to sound really nice when the windows are covered in frost and you're wearing three layers of everything. When the hubs and I have saved up for a tropical vacay, we typically plan it for January or February, when the holidays are over and winter can really start to drag. If it's just not in the stars, a stay-cation can be just as beneficial. I like to plan to take a couple of days off before the holidays, just to catch up on doing things that make me happy—crafts, baking and cooking, and just vegging out. It can make the days feel longer and can really cut down on holiday stress. 

Holiday Hang-ups Around Our Home

Each day I'll also be sharing some "holiday hang-ups" around our home—because if there's one thing we love to do, it's decorate for Christmas!

Here's a photo of the Christmas tree we put up in our kitchen area on the main level! A trick that we use when decorating a tree is to load it up—you can never have too many ornaments on a Christmas tree! I also bought a piece of watercolor paper and a super chunky gold marker from Michael's the other day to make this cute and simple DIY "joy" hang-up!

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | HOW TO BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: DAY 1

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Remind yourself daily, that, even on the cloudiest days, the sun is still shining! You can take that as literally or metaphorically as you want! Whether the gray skies are getting you down, or you're struggling with a stormy situation emotionally, find the sunlight in your life—the silver lining! 

Stay tuned for Day 2 tomorrow, where I'll cover common Holiday Hang-up No. 2: Flyin' Solo // Away From Home // Loneliness.

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