Happy For The Holidays
Yesterday, a friend dropped by a holiday package that I just had to share with you all, because it fits in so perfectly with today's Holiday Hang-up No.6: Busyness // Overworking + Overcommiting // Burnout! Melissa and her team at Blooms & Bouquets, an event production company (check them out--they rock!), put together this thoughtful and creative holiday spa gift package! There's no better way to unwind and decompress during the crazy-busy holiday season than an at-home spa experience with scents of lavender and rose wafting in the air!
In other news, it was Beau's 2nd birthday on the 15th, and I just had to share an adorable snapshot I snagged! Again, it was a fitting event to tie in with this blog post, because Dusty and I made a point to schedule time in the evening to celebrate our baby's birthday with a big ole present (a look-alike stuffed Bernese Mountain Dog--he's a serious softy when it comes to toys) and shower him with lots of kale dog treats--because what other kind would I get my pet?! I put his gift in a box and filled it with dog treats and it sat on the kitchen island all day while he waited patiently for it--and you better believe he knew it was for him! Dusty and I love to make a big deal out of things that might seem silly to some, but it's one way to take time out of our busy, sometimes stressful days, to anticipate a fun night at home and enjoy each other's company!
You’re working longer hours to be able to pay for everyone’s Christmas presents, and short days make you overly anxious to just get home and get into something cozy. But before you get home, you have to swing by the grocery store to pick up extra food and a bottle of wine to bring to your friend’s Christmas party. Easier said than done! During the holiday season, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or where you’re going, you can’t avoid lines. Traffic is backed up at every intersection, the grocery store is full of people with lists of ingredients they can’t forget to pick up to make that special once-a-year dish, and it’s faster to park and run into Starbucks than to go through the drive-thru! Your Facebook is full of invites to holiday shindigs that you don’t want to miss out on, and this year you have to go to your family’s and your in-laws for Christmas. When does life slow down?!
If you feel like you’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, my advice is to start penciling in some down time. It can be difficult to start a new routine without some discipline, so try setting yourself a reminder on your phone. I started a morning routine that I’ve been doing pretty solidly this entire past year, and nothing has changed me more! I’m saving my morning routine for another blog post, and I encourage you to come up with your own morning or evening routine! Do things that are truly important to you—draw, read, write, listen to a podcast, meditate, workout, pray, take a bubble bath, do yoga, get a pedicure with a friend. Self-care is not a bad thing—rather than thinking of it as being selfish, think of it as being self-full! Stress is going to creep in, but it’s important to decompress before it builds and becomes unmanageable, leading to anxiety and depression.
All of the chaos, noise, and running around can lead to chronic, low-grade stress that can end up wreaking havoc on your health if you don't take the time to slow down and unwind. I try to incorporate some quiet time into my day where I can just think, meditate, and pray. A phone app that I love to use is HeadSpace. If you're new to meditation, or just the thought of sitting still for more than 5 minutes, this app will do wonders for you! These guided meditation tracks are the perfect way to really get centered, weed through what's really going on inside, accomplish daily tasks more efficiently, and tackle bigger goals with less bumps in the road.
SANITY > MONEY
If you’re working extra-long hours by choice, but it’s just stressing you out, you’re eventually going to build up resentment and stress, and begin to dread Christmas time every year. If you set your budget or agreed with your family to make gifts (sage advice from Holiday Hang-up No.5), then maybe the extra hours won’t be as necessary! Check-in with yourself and evaluate whether it’s worth losing out on relaxing time at home—your sanity is much more important than money.
If you’re like me, you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t go to every event you’re invited to. Recently, though, I’ve been getting really good at setting boundaries. Decide what’s important to you, and how you’re going to feel the next morning. Getting invited to go out with old friends for a night of bar-hopping may sound like fun, but you may get yourself into a situation where you’re out too late and it throws off the plans you had made for the next day. Try saying ‘no’ to that one, and make plans to go for brunch the next day.
On the other hand, that Christmas show at the event center downtown might actually be fun to go to after a dinner date with your special someone. This sounds like something to say ‘yes’ to, and the next morning you’ll be reminiscing about how amazing the show was and be happy you have energy and feel great!
Do Less! A lot of times, I love nothing more than just cozying up and watching a Christmas movie at home. Aah, the fine art of doing nothing! Trust me, you might feel like you’re missing out if you don’t go to every event, but you’re not! The next morning, you’ll already have moved on, feeling less stressed, more energized, and ready to take on the day. Remember, there is a difference between being busy and being productive—just because you’re always busy doesn’t mean necessarily mean you’re being productive!
Holiday Hang-ups Around Our Home
*Each day I'll also be sharing some "holiday hang-ups" around our home—because if there's one thing we love to do, it's decorate for Christmas.
Below is an up-close photo of Beau's birthday present that I just had to share, because wrapping gifts is one of my favorite pleasures! It's a fun way to be merry and stress-free! I used kraft paper, double-sided tape (a must), some white paper ribbon, a cute "Love" tag that I saved from last year (the hoarding comes in handy!), and tied some bells on, just to get the pup extra psyched!
Below is a birch log that I had Dusty hang above our couch in the basement shortly after we moved in two years ago, and it's stayed up ever since! I thought it would be a fun way to change up the decor with the seasons, and for Christmas I like to hang these cute paper snowflakes, pinecones, and glittery ornaments, and wrap the log in tiny, twinkling wire lights--perfect lighting for watching movies!
See that unpainted ceramic Santa below? That's what I'm talking about when I say Do Less! We've had a tote full of half-painted and some completely unpainted Christmas ceramics, and it stressed me out every year that we would never get around to painting them. Then I realized how awesome they actually look just as they are! Problem solved!
As much as we may want to be at home doing less, there are going to be events you're obligated to go to. Sometimes you just have to power through--but be sure and do it with a smile on your face! Make a deal with yourself to take a personal health day after the new year, say, in February, when winter really starts to drag. Better yet, plan a relaxing vacation where you can veg out and practice the art of doing nothing!
Stay tuned for the seventh and final installation of my 7 Holiday Hang-ups + 7 Simple Solutions. In No. 7, I'll discuss: Perfectionism // High Expectations // Let Downs.