December gives me the jitters.
I always get excited for the holiday season. I love watching all the Hallmark Christmas movies, reading holiday romances, eating the gingerbread cookies. It truly is a magical time of giving – that goes for both giving gifts and thanks.
But this time of year always stresses me out as well.
I’m a last-minute person, my time management skills so lacking that elves cry. So I overwhelm myself with buying gifts at the last minute, screaming at Amazon for not delivering fast enough, when let’s be real – their delivering skills are magic. I place a lot of pressure on myself over what I’ll even buy for everyone, because of course it has to be special, sentimental, something they need.
Basically, there’s a lot that goes on during this time of year, and it doesn’t just last for a day or two like Thanksgiving, for me anyway. It lasts for over a month.
So with Christmas next week, with everything coming down to the wire, I’ve had to keep reminding myself of all the reasons I love Christmas and to also, take a break.
I’ve said it before, and this is another gentle reminder for you as much as it is for myself, to take a break and relax amidst the chaotic travelling and baking and gift wrapping. This is a reminder to take needed time for yourself to regroup and re-energize.
December is a whole month long and usually involves many festivities, so if we don’t make some downtime for self-care, this would be too grueling of a month that I would never make it into the New Year.
My favorite thing to do for downtime is to feed my soul – whether that’s with words from my favorite books or my own, or actual food (heyyy gingerbread cookies! And pumpkin bread. And flavored popcorn…).
Normally my go-to for stress relief is the gym, but during the winter, I tend to slow down and give my body more rest than normal. I ween off the cardio and often lift just a little less like my life depends on it.
But relaxing activities like reading and watching holiday movies with a warm blanket and cup of decaf coffee (because I just can’t hang with more than two cups of regular coffee a day)? To me, this is the perfect way to wind down from various festivities.
I’ve also taken a break from revisions to get away from some of the glum I feel when I’m not writing. This has proven to be very good for my soul! Writing is another stress reliever…although it can also be the cause for my stress in some cases. But allowing myself a little time lately to focus on just creating, on filling up a blank page, and working on projects I’ve set aside for months – it’s all been so soothing during this hectic time. No pressure to fine-tune scenes, paragraphs, etc. No stress since it’s just a first draft, which is a perfect way for me to unwind.
So take some time for your self-care, whatever that might mean for you, during these last few weeks of this holiday season. This way, you’ll likely enjoy yourself more during the holiday fun. You won’t think of a nice bath (as much) while you eat dinner at your mom’s or think much about quiet walks alone while your nephews fight over their hover boards.
You won’t be as likely to think about these relaxing things while you’re supposed to be with family and friends if you do them ahead of time or make sure to get to them once you’re home after a long night of listening to Uncle Carl groan about taxes.
This post may be coming to you late, but there’s still time to turn on some calming music and pour yourself a glass of wine. There’s still time for a mani/pedi, a good massage, or a nice stroll (if you’re in a warmer state and/or not afraid of the cold!). There’s still time to take a moment for yourself to relax, so you can enjoy all the holiday magic this time of year has to offer.
Enjoy time for yourself now so that you can have fun with family and friends later.
Happy holidays y’all!