The holiday season has arrived. You are looking forward to getting together with friends and family. You have ideas about gifts for everyone. You have a dish you make every year to pass. You have fun events planned to make this a memorable year for your kids (tree lighting, holiday train, visiting Santa, you name it!) You look at the calendar and realize that there’s still so much to do but where has the time gone? You need a break and are in a joking mood so you pull out one of the classics: “Knock, Knock.”
I’m a sucker for these and can’t help myself. I reply, “Who’s there?”
You think about it for a bit and say, “Well, I’m a parent. I am an employee/stay at home parent. I’m a brother/sister and daughter/son. I’m a friend, football fan, and church member. I am a gift giver. I’m a Black Friday shopper. I’m a host and a good cook. I’m an activist, a consumer, and a citizen. I’m a snow shoveler and butt wiper. I’m a maid, a laundry folder, and a car mechanic.”
Okay, so the joke wasn’t that funny. What is funny is how the holiday season is meant to be filled with joy and love but yet, can be quite taxing on a person (particularly, a parent). I don’t know about you but when I’m stressed, I’m not very pleasant to be around. I would like to be pleasant to be around this holiday season. Is that too much to ask? Here are some ideas to stay inspired and take care of yourself so you keep your cool.
- Try something new. Even better, learn a new skill. Having interests and hobbies outside of your day to day not only rejuvenates you but makes you a more interesting person. There are options outside of home and ideas that cost money but there is also YouTube. On YouTube there are tons of free videos to learn whatever you want! (Yoga, Guitar, Crochet, Magic).
- Listen to something interesting. Christmas music is wonderful but there are some interesting options out there if you are looking to mix it up. I am a huge fan of podcasts and Audible. This allows me to continue to learn and be entertained while accomplishing tasks.. Both options offer a variety of content depending on your interests plus Audible lets you try the first month free!
- Give yourself 10 minutes of “protected time” each day to accomplish something for yourself. For me, this is as simple as taking a shower. Having two young children, this can be a tough goal to accomplish but when I do, I am a different person. Here are some other ideas: workout, journal, meditate, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just zone out playing a game on your phone if that’s what your soul needs.
- Create. In a season that thrives on you being a consumer, it feels really good to balance that with creativity. This could be something crafty but if you (like me) are not artsy, there are other ways to be creative. How about brewing beer or kombucha? Writing? Try out new recipes?
- Volunteer. This sounds counterintuitive, I know. I promise that volunteering for a cause dear to you will rejuvenate you, put things into perspective, and get you out of your own head if you are feeling overwhelmed. Stay tuned for our volunteer guide!
At the end of the day, the people you love want to see and experience YOU. The real you, down in there under all those layers. You’re still in there and you have so much to offer this world in a way no one else can. Take care of yourself this holiday season so you can spread love and joy to those around you.