As I write this, we have just entered the final month of the year: December. December always brings mixed feelings for me: on the one hand, I love the smell of Winter in the air, seeing all of the holiday lights, and Christmas Break. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of cold weather, there’s often a sense of sadness as this was my father’s favorite holiday and I cannot celebrate it with him except in spirit, and the holidays can feel a bit frenetic at times.
At a time when you may be feeling pressured to amp things up, I’d like to ask you a question:
I know you may be thinking, “I can’t slow down; I’ve got too much to do!” So here’s my next set of questions for you: “Do these things really need to be done? Do you need to be the one to do them?” In other words, what can you take off of your plate right now? You might be concerned about letting people down or that if you don’t do it, no one will. I get it; I’ve been there.
A few years ago I decided to stop decorating for the holidays. As much as I loved seeing all the holiday décor, I was so busy that I was rarely around to enjoy it and getting the house all decked out ended up just adding more stress to my holiday season. So I stopped. No one else picked up the slack, but it was okay. My neighbors still decorate and I can enjoy their holiday lights and décor as I walk my dog every morning. I also started limiting the number of holiday gathering I attended to one per week. Yes, you may let some people down if you say no to their party invitation, but if attending all of those holiday parties is adding more stress to your day, then is it really worth it? I find that I enjoy myself a lot more if I take the pressure off of attending everything and really show up and be present to enjoy the festivities I do choose to attend.
Here’s the thing:
Yes, “things” need to get done, but I’m guessing some of them can be delegated to someone else or put off until the holidays are over. For the things that you personally need to do, can you still do those things with more presence and mindfulness so you can enjoy them more? Can you get off the hamster wheel and go at a slower pace?
One of the things that helps me remember to go a little slower as the holiday season ramps up is Woman Unleashed online retreat. This is our 7th season with Woman Unleashed – I have been a speaker and participant for each of those 7 retreats because I love it so much and I learn something new every time. Woman Unleashed helps me remember to pause, to breathe, to take care of me despite the busyness of the holiday season. I hope you’ll join us and take a little breather to take care of you this holiday season.