It can be so easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays. Shopping, decorating, dinners with friends, weekends with family … the list can go on and on. All of it can add up very quickly and wind up wiping out all of your energy at a time when you need it most.
So, today I’m offering some tips on how you can make sure you enjoy this holiday season by putting yourself first. Let’s get started…
1. Say No So You Don’t Over Schedule Yourself
This one can be really hard because you don’t want to disappoint family and friends, especially during a time of the year that tends to be focused on those two groups of people. But, saying no to commitments that you don’t need to have on the calendar RIGHT NOW will ensure you say yes to the right things during a stressful 6 or so week time frame.
If the thought of saying no stresses you out, think of it as “no right now”. Instead of seeing certain friends or family members in that short time span, ask if you can schedule something shortly after the holiday craziness! I bet they’ll actually be relieved to have one less thing on their plate too.
And, one thing to keep in mind here … the people who truly want and respect what’s best for you will understand that you need time for yourself. They won’t hold your no against you. And for those who do that or make you feel guilty for wanting to give yourself the time and energy you need may not be your best supporters anyway.
2. Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early & Stick to Your Budget
Shopping is another one of the biggest stressors during this time of the year as well. Instead of leaving things until the last second and being in over-crowded stores in December, try to get as much of your shopping done now before the craziness begins.
If you haven’t started thinking about this already, make a list of the people you need to buy for TODAY. Then, pick an amount you will spend on each person and some gift ideas … and start shopping! Just remember when you’re tempted to buy 1 more thing for this person and 1 extra little gift for that person, it can and will add up. Resist those urges and stick to your budget. You’ll be happier and a tiny bit richer in 2020!
3. Do Dinners/Experiences Instead of Gifts
Some of my closest friends and I decided a few years back that it was more important to spend time together during the holidays than it was to spend money and effort finding and buying each other gifts. Now we schedule a lunch or dinner and its something we will never go back on because it means so much more to just enjoy each others company. You can do the same thing by seeing a show, going to a museum, or anything else you have been wanting to try put putting off doing together. Memories are worth much more than most gifts!
4. Take Time to Recharge
I included this one last for a reason … I want it to really stick because it’s THAT important. YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON (and every day after that). Even if you have to schedule a night for you, do it. Make sure you are taking care of you any way you can. Remember, if you want to show up and be the best version of yourself at every family or friend event you commit to, you need to take time to recharge in between.
In order to make this even easier for you, I’d like for you to write down a list of things that make you happy RIGHT NOW. Get out a piece of paper, email yourself, or write a note in your phone and refer to this list as often as needed so you can do something kind for yourself. It can be something as small as going to bed at 9:00 instead of 11:00 on a night when you have no commitments, taking a yoga class, or putting on a face mask and watching your favorite movies in a comfy robe.
If you need help getting your list started, check out With Cheryl’s featured Instagram story (which features over 30 different self-care ideas) or my previous post, What I Learned from 31 Days of Self-Care (which includes a big list of ideas as well).
Next week I will be delivering the last Conversation With Cheryl of the year (if you want those to stick around, be sure to take my quick 16 question survey here). And, I will be taking a break from writing new With Cheryl posts for the month of December to recharge and reboot for 2020. (I’m taking my own advice!) So that means this is the last time I will be speaking to you directly before the end of the year.
Because of that, I quickly want to thank each of you for joining me for another year here at With Cheryl. And more importantly, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy, relaxing, and not-too-busy holiday season!
I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for all of us.
See you all in 2020!