Many of us start the fresh, new year feeling exhausted, burnt out, and stressed from the schedule and commitments that we create for ourselves during December.
How do you create balance during the holidays? It starts with determining who is setting the schedule (likely you), and what is influencing you to try to cram everything in (external pressures perhaps? fear of disappointing others?).
For many of us it is difficult to say no, me included!
Here are some strategies for creating a little bit of balance during the holidays:
- Try scheduling your priorities first, well in advance, and lock it down. If you are going to plan to go to the movies as a family, buy the tickets as soon as they are available for sale. If you are going to make breakfast as a family, build the menu, make the plans and get the excitement going well in advance (perhaps even place the grocery order). Book a facial or a massage (or both) in during the month of December and pay in advance. Try registering for fitness classes during the holidays so you lock down your commitment to going.
- Get an accountability partner. Get someone else to help you manage your December schedule. So you have someone to hold you accountable to creating balance. If you are going to try this, check out some ideas around selecting and using an accountability partner here.
- Create criteria. Decide how many or the type of holiday events you want to attend. Look at all your options, prioritize your options, and make your selections.
- Book a meeting. Professional you likely wouldn't cancel a meeting in your calendar for much. Book your priorities in and treat them like meetings. Perhaps even block off a meeting for some white space. What's white space? It is unplanned time where you decided what to do when it arrives.
- Practice saying no. Saying no can be challenging. Try journalling how you feel before, how it goes saying no, and what the other person's reaction is when you say no. Chances are you will notice that you are more worried about saying no than the person you are saying no to (likely they understand how busy the holidays can be).
- Imagine how you want to feel. Visualize how you want to feel at the end of the holiday season, then work backwards. What needs to happen for you to feel that way on January 1st?
What strategies work for you to create balance during the busy holiday season?
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