Managing the Holidays

It is almost here… it dawned on me yesterday as we were running through a Super Target Store packed with people, that there is only 1 more Saturday before Christmas?!?! How did we get to December and to Christmas so fast? Where does the time go?

Our lives are so busy, so full of life, work, children, family, responsibilities, health, serving, sports, meetings, adventures, etc. that it moves so fast. There is no slowness to our lives, patterns, or routines. We move with great speed from one season to the next. Then it hits you, we are only 14 days from Christmas.

Each year, I write a holiday post and I just looked up 4 years of holiday posts and they all focus on the following: finding peace, rest, slowness, joyfulness, restoring, to breath, etc. Wonderful ideas, themes, and encouragement, but how do we do this, how do we get too slow? What does that even look like? Then when you do figure it out, how to not feel bad for moving slower, doing less, and focusing on yourself.

Here are some ideas, and what has worked for me (but I am a work in progress).

Say no. Just say no. Don’t beat yourself up for saying no. When people know you will do the work, they will take advantage of it and during the holidays, you don’t need more commitment. You already do, serve, give, etc. to so many other people, and at times, you need to them no to (children, family, spouses, etc.).

Do something for yourself, that helps you decompress, that makes you feel good about yourself. That restores you. If that is running, working out, going to get your nails done, or reading a book all afternoon, then do it! Make time for yourself, to take care of yourself.

Get up early. Or find time in the day to be still or silent, for even just a few minutes. Listen to your breath, clear your head and your heart and be still.

Make a list, not like a daily to-do list but a list of what needs to be done till the end of the month. This will help organize time, prioritize time and give your direction if you are a list person. Put in items like, wrap 5 gifts, make a cup of tea, bake cookies with my daughter, organize the pantry, etc. whatever that looks like.

Prepare, slowly but steadily for parties, entertaining, Christmas morning, etc. If you can pre make something and freeze it, do it; set-up kitchen items at night to help you be ready to prepare food the next day; don’t commit to fancy food, new dishes, etc. Keep it simple.

These are just a few ideas, suggestions, that work for me. I am wishing you a restful week in the midst of chaos. To find time for yourself to give yourself a break, be gentle on yourself and focus on joyful moments, time to restore, and time to be still.

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