I really can’t believe that December is 1/3 over – I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of OU’s Big 12 win and making it into the playoffs (!!!) and holiday festivities that I didn’t even realize the days were passing by so fast. Part of what makes it so crazy that this month is almost over is that it’s not just a year ending, it’s a whole dang decade. It gives you a lot to think about – but, I’ll be doing more reflecting in a later post. For now, I want to touch on something that I think is super important this time of year: taking care of yourself.
As I’ve already said, it’s a buzzy and crazy time of year that time slips by without us even noticing. Not to mention, it’s a time that we are so focused on everyone else that we let ourselves slip onto the back burner. It’s not that focusing on other people is a negative by any means, but I think sometimes we forget to enjoy this season for ourselves, too, and not just for everyone else around us.
Two of my “pitfalls” is that I’m both a people-pleaser and a gift-giver, which means I have a hard time telling other people “no” and also telling myself “no” and having self-control while trying to Christmas shop – I looove getting to spoil people, but it can get me in trouble if I don’t set boundaries. I figure I’m not the only one like this, so I wanted to offer some advice when it comes to taking care of yourself during the holiday season.
I know it’s super basic, but seriously – relax. Take some time for yourself. The holidays are so full of friends and family and shopping in crowded stores that it’s totally okay to want to step back and spend some time for yourself. Enjoy the twinkle of your Christmas tree with a cup of hot chocolate (or wine… or both?) while you watch a cheesy Hallmark movie. Take a hot bath. Meditate. Read the Bible. Play with your dog. Focus on what your soul needs to relax – I know for me it’s harder to enjoy the season when I can’t find some downtime to refresh my spirit.
DON’T GO BROKE
One of my favorite sayings I always see around this time of year is to not go broke trying to show people how much you love them. For me, that’s hard because I speak the language of gift-giving, so I want to spoil people, but I also have had to make myself realize that my family doesn’t want me to get myself into stressful financial situations because I spent all my money on them. I try and keep myself to a reasonable budget and try and do other things to show my love and appreciation for my loved ones, like helping with chores and cooking, or spending quality time with them. Being present is a gift.
This time of year it gets so easy to always be looking ahead to the next event, the next task, the next “whatever” we have going on that we forget to enjoy the moment we’re in. The holidays are filled with so many fun things and sweet moments that I think we forget to savor because we’re stressed over/thinking ahead to the next “thing.” I know I always get to the end of the holidays and think “how is it over? how is it already the new year?” because I spent the whole season looking forward instead of being in the moment. So take a second, breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy the moment you’re in.
I hope that these reminders help you take care of yourself this holiday season – I definitely think I needed to write them out for myself as much as you might have needed to read it!