How to really relax this holiday season
If you’ve spent the last few weeks putting things off while saying to yourself “I’ll do that in the holidays”, you’re definitely not alone. The lead up to the festive season is busy for many of us and this year is no exception – you’d be forgiven if your ever-growing to-do list is spilling over into your holiday.
The problem is, once you finally finish up work you’re likely to be exhausted, perhaps more so than usual given the year we’ve all had. The last thing you probably feel like doing is tackling a to-do list. So how can you make sure you actually give yourself a break this festive season?
Read on for my five tips to ensure your holiday is just that – a holiday.
1. Give yourself the gift of time
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting things done and creating self-imposed deadlines to maximise productivity, but there is a time and a place.
– Finishing a book to ensure you can have a good discussion at Book Club? A suitable ‘must get done’ activity.
– Buying your in-laws a gift for their 60th wedding anniversary on the weekend? It’s reasonable to give yourself a deadline.
– Alphabetically organising your children’s books by Friday when there’s no real need? Not such a worthwhile deadline.
After all, it has been a big year, and we’ve all missed out on a lot. Give yourself time and just do what makes you happy. Leave out anything that is not truly urgent this holiday so you can buy back some time in your days. Those non-urgent tasks can wait.
Make technology work for you, not the other way around. I read this in a minimalist blog once and it has stuck with me ever since. Technology is wonderful, and it has been a saviour this year, but it can also be a burden. Constant pings and vibrations notifying you of this and that likely impacts your ability to switch on your parasympathetic nervous system – rest and digest – i.e. the opposite of the stress response – fight or flight.
If you can take a social media break, delete a few apps, silence notifications or – better still – put the phone in a drawer, do it. Don’t be a slave to your devices this holiday season – make technology work for you.
Observe your surroundings as you move through your holiday activities
3. Be okay with doing nothing
For many of us, doing nothing is a foreign concept, and can even sometimes provoke a feeling of guilt. If you are a serial ‘get things done’ person, or worse, someone who is always telling yourself to do more and still not getting things done, try saying no and giving yourself permission to do nothing. You never know, you might just find doing nothing gives your batteries the reboot they need to hit the ground running in 2021.
4. Be present
Two little words that sound oh so simple – be present. We all know, however, that being present is easier said than done. It takes meditators years to master the mind and silence the thinking brain. Yet you do not need to be a meditation master to reap the rewards of mindfulness these holidays.
Simply remind yourself to engage properly in conversation, actively listen to your family, observe your surroundings and notice the sensations on your skin as you move through your holiday activities.
If mindfulness is something you are trying to cultivate, read our blog 5 Ways You Can Bring Mindfulness Into Your Home.
5. Prioritise rest.
When was the last time you scheduled a nap into your day, that wasn’t for your three year old? Rather than prioritising activities and tasks, can you prioritise rest instead? Schedule a sleep-in, take an afternoon to read or nap in your sleep-sanctuary, maybe even cancel dinner plans to go to bed early. Rest is vital for a healthy body and mind.
So there you have it! Hopefully even just reading this made you feel a little bit more relaxed. Whether you’ve still got a few more work days left in the year, or you’ve already set your Out of Office and are slipping into holiday mode, keep these tips front of mind and do yourself a favour – put that to-do list away in a drawer until you’ve properly re-charged your batteries.
For more relaxing holiday ideas visit our blog, Three Quick Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Planning with BONUS TRAVEL CHECKLIST.