Moving Through the Holidays with Ease
The holiday season is upon us. I often hear my friends and clients talking about how full their calendars are and how there are so many events to attend and things to do this time of year. With pre- and post-holiday special events, gift shopping and making, baking, and entertaining on holidays themselves, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Another thing to keep in mind is that the holidays can also bring out strong emotions—both positive and negative, which can add to the intensity of this time of year. The good news is that there are ways to manage the busyness and feelings of the holiday season. Here are some ideas for how to move through the holidays with ease.
Take Regular Breaks
With so much to do, it’s tempting to want to power through your days and neglect essential components of self-care, such as rest. Studies show that taking regular breaks from holiday preparation actually helps you get more done and feel a whole lot better while you are doing it. Are you in the midst of addressing 200 holiday cards or wrapping a pile of gifts? Take periodic breaks to stretch, chat with an easygoing friend, do some relaxation techniques, or go for a walk. Chances are you’ll be more productive, and happier when you return to your desk. For more on the science behind this, check out “Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find.” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm)
Think through how you can take a step back from your schedule to find ways to fit in relaxation and manage tasks in a way that feels right for you this holiday season.
Choose Events Wisely
With all of the Evites and Facebook event invites coming your way this time of year, it’s easy to click the “yes” button on all of them. Before you commit to attending, think through whether or not this particular event will add to your enjoyment of the holiday season. Some of us are very social and back-to-back events energize us. Others need down time to rest and refill our social energy tanks before heading out to the next party. Being strategic about which events to attend, both before and after the holidays, can help you manage your energy levels and get more enjoyment out of the social events of the season.
Do Things to Replenish Your Energy
Keeping your energy reserves filled can be a challenging task this time of year. However, it’s an essential part of staying healthy and enjoying the holiday season. Think through all of the holiday tasks that feel tiring to you. Space them out in your schedule as much as possible and be sure to build in time for rest and relaxation in between. When we are tired, sometimes it’s hard to remember which activities replenish our energy. It may sound strange, but I encourage you to make a list of all the things that energize you and pull it out when you are in need of inspiration. This list could include taking a walk with a friend, listening to music, enjoying some art, breathing deeply, reading, experiencing aromatherapy, snuggling with an animal, dancing with abandon, etc. If spending time with certain people replenishes your energy, be sure to schedule time with them to do something fun—they will probably be grateful you suggested it. Taking time to replenish your energy will help keep you physically and emotionally healthy during this intense time of year.
I hope these ideas help you move through your holidays will ease and happiness. Please feel free to share this post with anyone in your life you think would find it useful.