As you enter the last couple of months of 2022 (take a moment to let that sink in), make sure you can celebrate the holidays with a clear and joyous mind! The holidays can be stress or anxiety inducing while you worry about everything filling up your plate. Whether it’s work, family and friends, shopping, cooking, and the hundred other things that go into celebrating the holidays - don’t let it get in the way of enjoying yourself!
YCNS has tips to help as you head into the holidays. We help you have better workdays, and it doesn’t end there. We also believe that the effort should carry over into all of your days as part of an even better community. These tips help bring this effect outside the scope of work, because above all else, you are a person doing their best. Keep reading to find out how you can begin applying these tips now for an even better holiday season!
1. Work on those to-do lists
I know one of the last things I want to worry about over the holidays is what work is waiting for me when I come back, or having to pause celebrations to complete a task. If you feel the same, take a few moments to compile the tasks remaining until the end of the year, and chip away at that list until it’s time to relax! It can be hard to start a big to-do list, or to get motivated to complete it, so remember its purpose. This is the list of what you have on your plate, and when it's done you get to take a moment for yourself! Just in case you missed it, here's our blog for tips on tackling procrastination. Chip away!
1.5. If it helps, make lists for over the holidays
Is there anything left over from your to-do list that can’t wait until after the holidays? This list can also function as reminders for things that need to get done as it relates to celebrations, such as gift shopping. If lists work well for you, this can be something you do for your day-to-day tasks!
2. Get in the right mindset
It’s important to make sure you are mentally prepared for the holidays, because this time can take a toll. Your frame of mind deserves protection, so allow yourself to feel all of the feelings, and then guide yourself to a positive mindset. Adjust your thinking patterns to return to the state of mind you'd like to be in. Check out our blog for 10 sentences to try everyday to practice a positive growth mindset. You can also read Top 10 Tips for Developing a Positive Growth Mindset from CHRYSOS.
3. Pace yourself and schedule you-time
The holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember, traditional holidays span over a little more than 2 months! Take the time in between to reset and schedule time for yourself. Trying to fit everything into a few weeks can be exhausting and stressful, so spread events and gatherings out, while also ensuring there is time to do things you enjoy. Rather than cramming all of the family holidays into a weekend or two, allow yourself the time in between to read your favorite book, go caroling, bake, spend time with people who make you happy!
4. Know and respect your limits
Allow yourself to say “no.” If an event is going to stretch you too thin, it's okay to pass on it. Or, maybe an event isn’t an outright “no,” and instead it requires setting a limit that empowers you to say “that’s enough.” For instance, setting the expectation that your family will politely exit after the meal, rather than sticking around for games. This tip can involve everyone in your party, whether that's your family, friends, or significant others. Set a time that is the latest everyone is willing to stay, establish a rule that the group is staying at least until dessert is served, or create a signal that is understood as someone needing a moment to themselves.
5. Practice mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and relaxation
Mindfulness and meditation can go hand-in-hand, but they don’t have to. You can practice mindfulness by taking notice of things in your environment such as sights, sounds, and smells. Meditating can simply be sitting quietly - you don't even have to close your eyes. Practicing gratitude can either be quietly contemplating what you are grateful for in the moment, or expressing your gratitude to someone close. Relaxation means doing or not doing something which allows you to take a breather, lower your heart rate, or return to a positive mindset. You can practice these exercises from Mayo Clinic to improve your mindfulness!
6. Find ways to give back
Look around for local places where you can volunteer or donate. There is almost always somewhere that’s looking for volunteers or receiving donations, especially around the holidays. For instance, Helping Hand in Indianola is a great place with donation and volunteering opportunities Have your kids outgrown clothes or toys that another child would love to have? Do you have unwanted items laying around the house that another could get some use out of? Not only do these make great gifts - and you'd be providing for someone who may not otherwise receive - it can give you a boost of serotonin!
7. Remember it’s self-care
So, be extra kind and giving to yourself. It can be easy for the holiday hustle to overshadow your needs and wants. Ensure there is time, energy, and whatever else you choose, to spend on yourself. Maybe this is setting aside you-time, or buying your future self a present. It’s also easy to put the people you care about first, especially around the holidays - and it’s easy because thinking about ourselves feels selfish. However, it’s what you hear in the safety spiel on a flight - “put on your oxygen mask before anyone else’s.” You have to be there for yourself before you can be there for anyone else; make sure you are taking care of yourself first!
We hope these tips work well for you, so that you can enjoy this season to its fullest. If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know!
Happy Holidays from Your Clear Next Step!