However you mark the turning of the wheel of the year, I hope you’re all enjoying a bit of down time, lovely food, and nourishing company.
Holiday season can mean full schedules and empty energy wells. Around the holidays, it’s even more important to me to minimize time with people and activities that draw from my well and make an extra effort to take care of myself and my dear ones.
Here are a few things I do this time of year to make sure I keep up energy in my reserves.
Bring along an activity. There are bound to be lots of gatherings during the holiday season, and as an introvert (granted, a gregarious one), holding my focus on people for long spans of time can be taxing. I like to bring along an activity to help give myself mini attention breaks. This can be a book, a small sewing project, a sketchbook, or (more often than not) my knitting bag. People don’t tend to mind when I knit while we visit, and it gives me something to shift my focus to if I start to get overwhelmed or fatigued from so much socializing. I also try to keep a sketchbook and drawing items handy for the little ones who grace my life.
Double-down on self-care. I know, I know. It can be hard enough to keep up with self-care when we don’t have all these gatherings to prepare for, but it’s more important than ever that we make sure we’re at our best. I focus on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and working in healthy food to offset all the holiday treats.
Monitor input. These holidays aren’t the best time for me to watch tear-jerkers, scary movies, or other entertainment that leaves me emotionally wrung out. Instead, I watch, listen to, or read uplifting stories that I know will boost my mood and energy. This is where being a romance fan/writer comes in really handy. When I pick up a romance, I know at the very least the main couple will have their “Happy Ever After” 🙂
Listen to my body. The more challenging input for me to monitor is all the delicious food surrounding me this time of year! I make an effort to watch my portion sizes and try to really listen to my body when it says I’m full. This year, I’ve been having problems noticing when I’m too run down as well. When I start to feel tired, I need to act quickly to restore my energy; taking a nap, switching to a more restful activity, or making sure I get to bed earlier that night.
Letting go. I’ve never been that great at doing this, but around the holidays, it becomes more important than ever to accept that I won’t be able to do everything I want to do. I’m going to make a list, then prioritize it so that I do the things that are really important, and then let the rest go. There’s always next year to try other things!
Bringing in others. Holidays are a time for togetherness, both with our born family and the one we create around ourselves. Whenever I can, I want to bring in people to the activities I choose to do. Sometimes, the biggest pressure around holidays can be trying to come up with conversation or navigate difficult issues. If we have a project, I’m hopeful that we can renew our bonds and remember that we’re all in this together.
Wishing you all the very best this holiday season.