With just over a week until Christmas, I’ve been feeling a bit frantic. I haven’t wrapped a single gift, my beautiful cards’ envelopes are still unlicked and unstamped, and I still want our family to go for a drive and see some lights.
This pressure is self-imposed, and I know none of these things are the real reason for Christmas, but they still are important to me. It could become easy for me to become so overwhelmed that I burn the candle at both ends and don’t pay attention to my own needs.
So I’m taking things a day at a time and am doing the following to make sure I take care of me and don’t burn out:
- Prioritize: What is most important to you during this last week of Christmas? Write down your must-list and use that as your benchmark for making decisions. It will be easier to say no to other activities if you look at them through your “must-list lens.”
- Include you in your calendar: Consider the next week, which might be busier than normal. It is important to block time on your calendar to take care you. Whether it’s a weekly exercise class or 30 minutes a day for reading and journaling, by planning for time for yourself and your passions, it is more likely to happen. I am getting a massage on Saturday and I CANNOT wait.
- Plan for times of waiting: On average, Americans wait 45-60 minutes a day. Use those periods of time in your day to do something that you love. If you plan for those times (such as having a book or some sewing with you), you will be able to do something you love instead of letting the time be wasted.
- Don’t overschedule yourself: Just because something will fit on the calendar, doesn’t mean you should say yes to it. Consider other commitments and if it really makes sense to do one more thing. The Christmas season is full of fun happenings — you don’t have to do them all this year.
- Take care of your body: Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise. While these tips may be a challenge, you won’t be able to enjoy the season if you are sick and run-down. And if it has been a year since your last physical, go ahead and schedule it now!
- Give yourself grace: The season is busy and you might become over-extended on some days. Recognize when that happens and do you best to not let it become a regular occurrence.
Take care of yourself and enjoy this special time of year!