Don’t you just love this time of year? As the holidays approach, I always have visions of soft snowflakes falling on my new boots while I leisurely sip my peppermint mocha and buy the perfect handmade gifts. The idea of the holidays is so magical, but too often we become caught up in the day-to-day tasks that we miss out on the real magic all around us. Instead of making Christmas cookies and memories with my kids, I often try to fit the baking in during their naps so I can just “get it done.” Rather than sipping a hot chocolate and listening to carols while I wrap gifts, I throw everything together last minute.
One way that I’ve been able to savor the season is taking plenty of downtime for myself. Every moment of this month can quickly be overscheduled with cookie swaps and classroom parties, so it’s crucial to carve out some time for yourself and your own wellbeing.
Make a plan
First take a moment to sit and think about what you love about this time of year. What are the memories that stick with you? What are the events that truly make the holidays feel special? Once you have a few ideas, schedule them right away. You’re about to start receiving countless invitations to holiday parties, charity events, etc, so make sure your holiday time isn’t high jacked with other people’s priorities.
Once you’ve prioritized the traditions that are meaningful to you, it will be easier to decide which invitations you’d like to accept. And while we’re at it, not every invitation needs to be accepted, even if you have nothing else going on that night. Make sure to carve out some unplanned time, because you’ll need it.
Sign up for a new workout class
Trying a new fitness class is the perfect way to de-stress during the holidays. When things get busy, our self-care is usually the first thing to suffer, so make sure to schedule your workouts. Exercise is so beneficial for our brains, and even a quick workout will leave you feeling rejuvenated. To make sure you stick to this commitment, sign up and pre-pay for a class. Just having that little financial motivator will be enough to get you there even when the couch and sugar cookies are calling your name.
Stick to a morning routine
Our mornings set the tone for our entire days, so make sure to be intentional about how you spend your early hours. If you’re used to rolling out of bed and speeding to work, try to build in just a few minutes of stillness everyday. Your morning routine could include meditation, yoga, sitting with a cup of tea, working out, walking, reading, anything that fills you up.
Schedule a beauty appointment
Is there anything better than a fresh haircut? As we get closer to the end of the month, all the salons will be booked so take a moment to schedule an appointment for yourself. Get a new cut, and maybe a massage or manicure too. The appointment will only take an hour or two out of your day, but will leave you glowing and refreshed for days.
Think ahead for next year
Finally, as you go about your days, make a note of everything that you’d like to do during this time next year. Chances are you don’t remember exactly how you scheduled everything last December, and you certainly are not going to remember this year either. Keep notes for yourself about how you want to schedule 2017 holidays. Do you want to be able to take the entire month off? Factor that into your income goals for the new year, so that come Thanksgiving you can take a much-needed break.
Did you read some amazing holiday blog posts or recipes? Keep a note for next year so when it’s time to schedule your editorial calendar, you won’t miss anything. Keep as detailed note as possible so that next year at this time, you’ll have even more time to enjoy the holidays with family, friends, and most importantly yourself!