Certainly at year end, but likely every time a busy woman faces a holiday season, while part of her may be excited, a good part of her may feel weary. As is often said, the caretaker needs to be able to take care of herself as well. This article suggests three things we can do for ourselves during any busy holiday season to bring more joy to ourselves as well as to others.
Make Appointments with Yourself
The first thing to do, and one that supports the other two, is to pull out your calendar or diary and make three two-hour appointments with yourself. Do four hours if you can. The point here is to set aside time for YOU to be with YOU doing what YOU want. Relaxation in whatever form it comes is invigorating and enlivening. You deserve that. What is relaxing for one woman may be doing crafts. Or another may choose to workout at the gym, ending her time there in the hot tub or sauna. Someone else may get a massage. You may just want to organize your closet, and iron the gorgeous clothes you are going to wear for those special occasions that holidays bring. We can’t judge what to do, but we need time to ask ourselves what that is and do it.
I recommend you make two-hour or four-hour appointments because when times get busy we tend to short ourselves. In this way if you have to take a little off because you’re running out of time you’ll still have an hour or two to work with. It’s amazing to me how instantly energized and creative I feel. “Oh wow! Now what do I want to do?” may be the best question in the world because it will take you back to those times of childhood when you had more time on your hands than you knew what to do with.
Reflect on Friendships and Reignite Them
Holidays often find us sending cards or otherwise being in touch with people we rarely see. Unfortunately this too may come packaged with a feeling of more work. “Oh, I have to work tonight so I can get out the holiday cards,” is not the refrain that comes from the joy of being in touch with people you love. Start to feel that real connection by taking 10 or 15 minutes and just musing over the different parts of your life and who you are work with from each of those times. Ask yourself how you might easily and joyfully say hello to those people?
If you write holiday cards, take 30 seconds as you address an envelope and think about that person and a memory they invoke. Remind them of that memory when you write your signature. It will bring a special connection between you. If they live in the same area as you do suggest setting up an appointment after the holiday is over. If they don’t live close then perhaps you can Skype. A bit of live conversation is always the best.
Reflect on Memories and Reinvent Them
Finally, holidays come packaged in our brain associated with all kinds of scents, or special sights. Reflect on those, ask yourself what you remember from your childhood, your teens, your early adulthood, and see if there are some things you want to reinvent so that they bring joy to you now.
Living in Ireland as we do, mulled wine brings us closer to the season. Stringing cranberries and popcorn for the Christmas tree always links my childhood to these festivities. The good thing is that the strings last for years, because they require so much work if you don’t have children to help. Whatever brings you joy, make sure it is interwoven throughout the period of time leading up to the holidays you celebrate. Taking these few moments for yourself allows the season to be sweet as it was meant to be.