staying sane during the holidays
I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.
I love all of the lights, decorations, and the festive nature of the season.
I love the emphasis on community, gratitude, and being present with one another.
But one thing I hate is how much pressure there can be during this time of year.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m so glad for you.
Likely, though, you know the pressure I’m talking about.
You might feel like you’re expected to:
❤️ spend more time with family than what really works for you
❤️ do things that you don’t want to do
❤️ travel an inordinate amount when you just want to sit at home
❤️ cook, clean, and caretaker for folks who you love dearly, but who don’t quite appreciate the strain it all has on you
You might feel like you don’t have choices, because this is what is expected of you.
(And if you’ve been socialized the way most of us have, you also tell yourself that you should be able to handle it or that there’s something wrong with you.)
You might even struggle because you want to do all of these things, but it just exhausts and stresses the fuck out of you.
(👆🏿👆🏿👆🏿 this last one, btw, is my eternal struggle)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed navigating all the family time and expectations this time of year, here are some questions you might ask yourself to help you stay sane this season:
💡 “If there were no rules, how would I spend today/this week/my time off?”
Don’t worry about what is or isn’t possible – but ask yourself what you actually want.
Even if it’s not possible to have right now, it’s important to know how you truly do want to spend your time, because it’ll support you in knowing what you’re aiming towards. If you don’t know what you actually want, how can you take action to move towards it?
Which leads me to your next question….
💡 “How can I get 5% closer to how I want to spend my time?”
Often, it feels too hard to get 100% of what we want when there’s so much family expectation, plans we’ve agreed to, etc.
That being said, if you challenge yourself, I bet you can get at least 5% closer to what you want.
If you want to spend all day napping, can you ask your partner to watch the kids so that you can lay down for 15 minutes?
If you really don’t want to cook, can you order takeout (just this once!) or ask someone to help you out with the cooking so it goes faster?
If you really wish you didn’t have to travel, how can you make your travel 5% cozier, more fun, or relaxing? How can you bookend your travel with down time, or relaxation?
I really challenge you to find your 5% and try it out – you’ll probably find that you can actually get SO much closer to what you want than what you had initially expected. You just have to be willing to challenge yourself and try.
One last question that’s really important to reflect on….
💡”What did I say yes to today/this week/during my time off? What am I saying no to as a result? Am I happy with that tradeoff?”
Because we are human beings with limited energy and time, with everything you decide to do (and not do!) you are making tradeoffs.
Even when you feel like you don’t have options, you typically do have options, they’re just shitty ones like:
Acquiescing to family and cultural norms and feeling exhausted and stressed out OR taking care of yourself and your needs but dealing with a ton of shit from your family.
While that decision might not feel good, you do have a choice.
So it’s important for you to get clear on the tradeoffs you’re making, and to ask yourself if you’re happy with those choices.
If you’re happy with the choices you’re making, then you can remind yourself that you made an intentional choice that you’re happy with when things get hard.
If you’re not happy with the choices and tradeoffs that you’re making, you get to decide to do something different. (I know, easier said than done – but it IS possible.)
I know these questions that I’m asking you can be difficult to answer and take action on.
But questions like these are the exact same questions I ask my clients every day to help them get more rest, create better boundaries, prioritize themselves and their needs, and have a work/life balance that actually feels good for them.
The biggest difference between my super well rested, balanced clients and you is this:
They had someone to help them answer these questions, hold them accountable to making changes in their lives, and support them when making these changes felt really tough.
(That someone was me, btw!)
If you’re tired of your life feeling stressful, overwhelming, and like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place to just have a little peace and rest…
…then you should schedule a call for us to chat about working together for 1:1 coaching.
I’ve opened up one spot for a new client in January – and after that, my coaching practice will be closed until later this spring.
I’m sending you so much love as we close out 2023 and begin 2024. I hope this year has been everything you’ve wanted, and 2024 is so much more.
P.S. In case you missed it, my entire podcast season this past fall was about resting more as a leader of color. If you want to hear some truly inspiring stories about how my clients created more rest in their lives, you definitely want to check out my podcast, Revolutionary Rising. You can listen here