Are you yearning to find more serenity during the holidays? Take these 4 steps to help avoid spinning, and feel more joy in the year’s most festive month.
Whether this is your favorite season, or a tough one to get through, the reality is that the pace of life races faster, all around us, in December. There are all the things we want to do in a 3-4 week period, and many more that we need to do because it’s year-end, or family’s coming.
And isn’t it crazy how stuff seems to appear in our home as if by magic! Just as time gets compressed, clutter expands exponentially–what can we do to actually enjoy the holidays?To help my clients find more serenity during the holidays, I coach them to ask themselves some key questions, and make tweaks to their typical daily routines and/or holiday season traditions. Here are 4 of my favorites:
1. Make lists!
Whether digital or paper-and-pen, prioritize what HAS to be done today (and if necessary, in chronological order), and what can be put off ‘til later. With so much going on and everyone going in so many different directions during the holidays, lists give your brain breathing room.
There’s less of a need to run through all the details repeatedly so you won’t forget anything. And that lets you focus on each moment more fully, and less frantically.
Lists also help you maximize efficiency for holiday shopping:
- Who (or what) do you need to shop for?
- What do you have in mind for each person, event or space you’re shopping for?
- What’s your budget?
Then, as you head out to Target or the mall, be sure to bring your lists!
This sounds so simple, but how many times have you gotten home from somewhere only to realize you could have picked up X for so-and-so while you were there–but forgot? So bring the lists…
2. Carve out some time for yourself.
I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this one and saying “yeah right”, but hear me out…
I’m not talking about spending a couple of hours at the spa (though if you have time to get a massage or manicure, do it!), I’m talking about micro-breaks.
A few minutes at the beginning or end of the day to enjoy a cup of coffee, in silence, away from your phone, lists, pressures, or piles. Maybe you can squeeze in a calming bath at the end of a long day.
You’d be surprised how big of an impact those little moments can have on your sanity!
3. Try to keep up with those small maintenance tasks where you can.
I understand that this time of year more than any other is when we tend to start shoving things in closets to get ready for guests or to host a party, etc.
And if that is what you need to do to maintain your sanity right now, DO IT. Did you hear that? YES, I’m giving your permission to give yourself grace during this busy time!
However, if you CAN keep up with any element of household maintenance – the mail, your laundry, or keeping the pantry sorted and stocked – during this season, it will pay big dividends when the holiday season is over!
(And if you need help getting your space(s) back on track after the holidays, I’m here for you!)
4. Lastly, enjoy yourself!
As a society we have created a bit of a monster with our holiday traditions of shopping, parties, cookie baking, etc. But they’re part of our traditions because they’re meant to be enjoyed. They’re not intended to be a laundry list of to-do’s we need to check off so we can dash to the next one.
Have fun with the people and activities you choose to spend this limited time with.
And if you find yourself not enjoying one aspect as much as you thought you would, (or think you should), maybe reevaluate for next year. (You might even want to write yourself a list of what you want to eliminate next holiday season. Put it at the top of your first decoration box!)
Finding more serenity during the holidays is equal parts action, inaction, and mindshift. Hopefully these 4 steps will help you enjoy your season, and enter the new year feeling energized!