Welp. It’s officially that time where everything is beginning to look a lot like the holidays. And it’s funny, at the onset of holiday time, everything seems really uncomplicated. I get excited to see my family, mostly due to the fact that they live across the nation. The weather get chillier in LA (below 50 degrees, I promise) setting the tone for fireside coziness. People are friendlier. People clear out of the city, leaving the staycationers to less traffic and chaos. On the surface, the holidays gift us an ease that everyone needs come the end of a year.
Personally speaking, with holiday time SkinOwl’s most chaotic time of year, I am usually tired and overworked come December, thus allowing the holidays to creep up and HAPPEN to me. What do I mean by that? I mean, by the time the holidays hit, I am so distracted and tired with everything leading up to the holidays, that I forget that in order for the holidays to run smoothly, I need the bandwidth to strategize and organize. Especially, now that my husband and I have a 16 week old.
Let me be clear, when I say strategize, this is not with concern to when am I going to grocery shop for Thanksgiving or hire a babysitter on nights where Micah and I have holiday functions. This is, instead, emotional organization, something I JUST now am getting the hang of at 38 years old.
In a perfect world, the holiday time would keep all of us on our normal schedule – food wise, financially, and energy-wise. But, we all know that’s far from the case. Between flights, family, gift-getting, plane delays, and Mom’s pumpkin pie(s), the holiday time is by default, a time of being thrown off.
As we all head into the New Year, I think it’s important to recognize what our ‘normal’ looks like – and that is different for everyone. If we can see how our ‘normal’ changes from the end of November until January 1st, I believe there’s a chance for us all to come out of the holidays with some emotional management, clarity, and intention. For example:
- Setting boundaries with friends and family is healthy. You know what you need in order to pour from a full cup. If you let people deplete you, you won’t be that much fun to be around anyway.
- Go easy on yourself during this time. Realize the temporary nature of it all. With that said, go easy on your family too. Everyone is away from their ‘normal’ and could use a little forgiveness and grace if they don’t know how to adapt to your ‘rules’ over the holidays.
- Have things on the calendar for when guests arrive. Idle is not always the best way to spend the holidays. Planning fun activities, booking reservations at a fun new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, or even a walk through a new park helps keep memory-making fresh and conversation flowing.
- Allow yourself to be ‘off.’ It’s hard to always be ‘on’ with spirits up and merry and bright. Give yourself moments to ‘take a call’ even if it means you’re in need of a walk down the block. Excusing yourself when stressed is the best way to manage stress. 15 minutes of ‘you time’ can save you hours of frustration. Let some air out of the balloon however you can.
- Have parents in town? Have them babysit for a night so you and your sweetheart can get some ‘R+R.’ Grandparents love being grandparents so take advantage of the help. It will make all parties happy. If you mention it before people’s planes land, it won’t catch anyone by surprise.
In the end, will we be able to have complete ‘normalcy’ over the holidays? Never. Will we rid ourselves of all stresses? Nope. Will we eat weird and feel tired from crappy flights? Yep. But is there way for us to plan for these derailments a bit better than we do? Possibly. That’s the key to the best case scenario. So, go ahead and put yourself and your mental state first this year. It could be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season.