As if regulatory day to day concerns and tasks aren’t already mind boggling, the holidays can add to the overwhelm. The season presents us with the challenge of limited time with an intimidating number of items getting added to our calendars and to do lists. The holidays can feel like it is about making everybody else happy in exchange for ignoring our own need for calm, routine, and peace.
As a pastor, I had a love hate relationship with the holiday season. I loved putting together meaningful celebrations for our church to recognize their own gratitude and celebrate the birth of Christ. However, for so many years I felt disconnected from the reasons for the celebration because of my own sense of disrupted life rhythm and depression. As I have acknowledged this harried relationship with celebrations I have learned how to manage so I can take in the holidays with enjoyment instead of dread.
4 Steps to Balancing the Holidays
- Take breaks: Taking a break with a book, cup of coffee, mediation or a good movie is good for the soul to rejuvenate and be at its best capacity to continue to give to others. This isn’t wasting time – this is important mind rest that can re-charge your batteries for the next task.
- Acknowledge and nurture your own needs: Even in the midst of the craziness we need to care for ourselves. Don’t neglect sleep, good soul care, and nutrition. While these seem basic the holidays tempt us to push beyond our limits which diminishes our ability to sustain health through the season.
- Prioritize life giving relationships: The holidays can bring a challenge to us of socializing with strangers or with family that doesn’t bring you joy. While avoiding those interactions may be impossible balancing those with relationships that bring you life, joy, hope and peace will keep your tank fuller.
- Be realistic: Our budgets, bodies and calendars can only carry so much. Recognizing that there are limits and being ok with that is so important to our mental health. Saying no to some things helps make room for the really important moments
It is truly all about creating balance in your life so you can enjoy this wonderful time of year instead of dreading it!