How to stay sane over the holidays. (otherwise known as the silly season around these parts)
As if 2020 hadn’t thrown enough shizzle in our direction, now we have the holidays to contend with, too. These are my tips for staying sane this year…
In one week, it will be December.
And, doesn’t it seem to arrive really suddenly? Faster each year, I think. And in particular THIS year. Last time I checked, it was March.
I know retailers would have us think that Christmas is approaching in October. But, if you’re anything like me – you ignore all those visual and auditory cues on principle until at least the end of November. You think you have all the time in the world.
AND SUDDENLY, IT’S DECEMBER! WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
When it comes to the holidays, Edna Ferber would have us believe that it is a feeling. And, that’s certainly kind of true for me. I feel loved-up at this time of year. Christmas especially. Full of goodwill and cheer and affection for my people.
But what if you don’t? – What if the holidays create more stress, more anxiety, more ‘stuff’ that doesn’t serve you?
And honestly? – I may feel loved-up at Christmas, but I also have those other feelings, too.
Especially this year. Because I won’t get to actually see all my people. The ones who give me all the warm fuzzies.
So, today I’m sharing my tips to help keep you sane for the silly season. Steps you can put in place to s l o w things down a smidge…
Tips that I ACTUALLY use FROM my arsenal of health tools.
1. PRACTICE ‘THE PAUSE’
This is a weird year and it is driving more uncertainty and stress than ever. Take a moment (every day) to hit the pause button on your overwhelm.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
I challenge you to really set an intention to practice ‘the pause’. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds. First, you need to become aware of the need to pause. This requires you to be present in a way that the silly season has a habit of moving us away from.
A good way around this is to schedule a couple of pauses into your day, ahead of time. Put them in your diary and set an alarm to remind yourself.
I’m a fan of the pause. I’d even go so far as to say that learning to recognise the need to pause is one of the best techniques I’ve added to my growing health toolbox. Highly recommended.
2. IT’S OK TO SAY NO (GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION)
Around this time of year, all these people seem to come out of the woodwork wanting to see you over the silly season. Even in times of COVID. What’s that about?
When it comes to saying that short little ‘n’ word, I’m a work in progress. I’m (still) learning to say no by stealth. I reckon I’ve graduated from beginner to intermediate. It’s proving to be a very hard behaviour to break, but I keep chipping away at it.
And, that pause I talk about above? – well, it comes in very handy when it comes to saying no, too.
That’s because when you’re a bit of a people pleaser, you often have a tendency to say yes – even offer your services before being asked – as a matter of course. You do it without thinking. It’s a habit.
The good news is that habits that don’t serve us can be broken to make room for those that do.
So, when you receive those invitations to connect over this silly season, I invite you to pause and think about what you want; what will best serve you.
It’s ok to say no.
What can you say no to, I wonder?
3. TAKE ‘ME-TIME’ FOR YOURSELF. PREFERABLY DAILY.
Back to that pause again. It’s becoming a recurring theme…
At the time of writing, we’re 24 days into a 30-day challenge over in AIP Mentorship. Among other things, the month involves scheduling some me-time every day. It’s a little like strengthening a muscle. At first, this can feel confronting – almost painful. But over time, with practice, it gets easier.
And, it involves self-compassion.
How’s your self-compassion? If you had to rate your level of self-compassion out of 10, where would you sit, I wonder?
It’s very easy to lose ourselves in this crazy time of year, isn’t it? Life just gets so damn busy.
What if you actively incorporated some time for self-compassion (<– I share some of my best tips in this link) into your day. Every day?
What would that look like? Could you work on your morning ritual and how you start your day? Might you spend time in nature? Perhaps you could actively make being kind to yourself part of your purpose?
4. JUST BECAUSE IT’S A TRADITION, DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT.
That pic’ is of my hand holding my Golden Balls. I make them for my brother-in-law every year. Except for the year I didn’t. Because they are so bloody labour intensive and I didn’t have it in me that year. This year, I’m choosing to make them.
In some ways, COVID gives us the space and the permission to change traditions. And, in some ways, it forces this upon us. Unwillingly.
It is a tradition for me to spend Christmas with my parents – either they join me and my sister here in Sydney, or we fly to them across the ditch to them in Auckland. Here in Australia, we currently need permission to leave the country. Even if we didn’t, entering New Zealand, would require a 14-day quarantine stay in a government-appointed hotel somewhere in the country. Mum and Dad will not be with us this Christmas. This makes me sad.
So, we are changing the tradition. And we have resolved to make the best of this. Here’s how we’ve shaken the Frankham Christmas up:
- My sister and I have put together a package of wrapped goodies for our parents. Despite not being with them, they’ll still feel loved (and have something to unwrap on the 25th)
- We’re having a Zoom Christmas catch up. And, we’re connecting a lot via Facetime over the silly season.
- Because it’s just David and me on Christmas day, we’re going out for lunch. We’re making a celebration of it and dressing up. But, even if circumstances change (COVID!) and we are required to stay home, we’ll be creating a sense of occasion together.
- I’m making a bunch of my AIP-friendly Christmas recipes – both for us to enjoy and to give away as gifts
So, while some things will change, others will stay the same.