This blog was originally posted in 2018, the content is so relevant we wanted to repost. Self-care over the holidays is a magical way to enter the New Year!
Many of us have the opportunity to take some time away from work over the end of the year holiday season. While this time usually results in time away from work, it is often over-scheduled and jammed with holiday parties, family gatherings, and last-minute shopping, baking, and wrapping. After that we spend a few days in our pajamas recovering, only to ramp up again with New Year’s Eve parties, more cooking, and more end-of-year sales shopping. By the time the two-week break comes to an end, if you are lucky you have spent a few days of Netflix and Chill, surrounded by days of chaos, and then walk right back into work and back into your same routine. Winter break can serve as a mini-sabbatical designed to allow you rest, but also provide vision and direction for the new year. So, let me suggest a step between leaving for the holidays and forging into winter break – make a plan!
- Make A Plan – just as you would for your job, establish a written plan for what you want to accomplish over the break. By creating a plan, you have a clear direction and are less likely to get lost in the shifting structure of break, or get caught up in seven straight days of Netflix and Chill!
- Set Boundaries – the chaos of last-minute holiday planning can make anyone crazy. When you have a plan, you know what you have to get done and it allows you to create some boundaries around things that can often be distractions, or side-rail you from taking care of you! Don’t let people manage your plan, own it, and only add where you feel comfortable doing so. It isn’t the end of the world to miss the last-minute Friendsgiving or the 3rd family holiday gift exchange! Trust me, you won’t miss it! This is about you taking care of you!
- Do Something for Yourself – Too often, whether it is work, family, or friends, those who work in the social sector, tend to give more to others than to themselves. During this time, it is so important to take the time to do something for yourself. Even something small gives your body recognition that you appreciate and respect it, and all that it does throughout the day, month, and year. For some people, this may mean hiding away with a good book for an afternoon, a deep tissue massage, manicure, indoor golfing, etc. Whatever feeds your soul and helps you relax.
- Cleanse Your Surroundings – there is nothing better in this world than the feeling of cleaning out the over-cluttered drawers, re-organizing the bills and files, and creating a new environment to start the new year in. Each year on my last day in the office, I spend the afternoon cleaning out all my papers and folders, reorganizing my shelves, and giving my office a good “cleaning.” In doing so I am setting the stage for a new year, a new attitude, and new opportunity. I also do this with my home, after putting away the Christmas decorations.
- Work on One New Habit – I am not a fan of the new years’ resolution, most often because as Americans we tend to overdo the intention of resolutions, seeking to create sweeping life changes across various components of our life, only to realize in a short time, that life is complicated, resolutions are hard, and it is easier to revert back to what we know. So rather than creating large sweeping life changes, focus in on one small, manageable, habit that you would like to change, and focus in on it. Last year, I made one change. I gave up Diet Coke. I will officially be one-year clean of Diet Coke on December 31st of this year. It was a small change, but over the last year, it has had a significant impact on my health.
The holidays are a time to rest, recover, and reset. You spend so much time giving so much of yourself to others throughout the year. Those who work with kids are forever setting aside their own needs to give of themselves to those they serve. Often, we are so rundown and exhausted at the end of the year, that we just collapse into the holiday season. I encourage you to try to be proactive this year, find the time to rest and recover, but don’t forget to reset and clean your space, so you can bring new energy into 2019 as you continue to give your best to the world!
Happy Holidays and my best wishes to each and every one of you for 2019!
My Breakfast this morning (trying to behave as I know my future will consist of many cookies), 1 Banana, Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder, Collagen Peptides, and Almond Coconut Milk.