Thanksgiving has come and gone and New York is seeing its first flurries of winter. You might be feeling pressure to nab holiday gifts for friends and family during the heavily marketed Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales, while still recuperating from your feast day festivities from last week. Taking time to slow down is, unfortunately, not often a priority during the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Do you notice yourself feeling the strain during these weeks? Here are three ideas for how you can better take care of yourself and your needs while balancing holiday obligations.
Slow down —
When your shopping list and calendar are both at capacity, it might be especially difficult to let yourself slow down the pace of your life. Taking the time to complete tasks mindfully and intentionally can help you to feel more in control of your to-do list, allowing you to recognize your accomplishments and capability. Pay attention to how quickly you are walking between meetings or around a store; notice your breathing and give yourself moments of respite between tasks to check in with your physical being. Take a moment to stretch, breathe, and acknowledge yourself.
Set limits —
Setting boundaries with family and friends is a common challenge; many of us have a learned habit of people-pleasing with minimal regard for our own wants and needs. If you are starting to feel the stress about your holiday travel and event expectations, it’s OK to ask questions and really consider whether you need to commit yourself to (yet another) friend’s holiday gathering. Politely declining an invitation may not come naturally to you, but by saying no, you are prioritizing your own needs and enabling yourself to be more present for the most important events during the holiday season.
Let it go —
There is no such thing as a perfect holiday, not even in Disney movies. In light of this, it might be time to check in with yourself about what is truly important to you at this time of year and dispense with the rest. Free yourself from the expectation that you will be the most ideal gift giver, decorous host, or perfect guest. Letting go of these expectations can give you the space you need to tune into what really matters to you and yours, and hopefully create a more enjoyable, authentic, and memorable holiday.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, we wish you wellness and joy this holiday season!