A Present to Myself this Holiday Season
There are five tabs open on my computer.
There are fifty tabs open in my brain.
The holidays can be too much - too much food and fun, shopping and spending, chaos
and stress. According to the American Psychological Association, 8 out of 10 people "anticipate increased stress over the holidays"( healthline.com). The emotional toll of college kids returning home (wisdom tooth extractions) buying the "just right" presents for everyone on your list can be both daunting and exhausting.
This year, I have decided to give myself a pre-holiday present.
No, it's not shoes.
Or that awesome, gold sparkly puffer from Athleta.
It's not even a spa-day.
This year, I am giving myself the present of
I give myself permission to
Realize that it isn't necessary to fill the space under the tree with piles upon piles of presents.
Enjoy the fact that, for what will feel like a shimmering moment, my entire family is under one roof. Let the ping-pong battles begin.
Just say no. No, to the extra gifts, baking, cards - sure, these little things can make the holiday special, but if they are causing more stress than enjoyment, I give myself permission to say no. No, to the guilt.
I give myself permission to
Operate my day as usual. Operation: The daily schedule is in full swing this holiday season. For me, now is NOT the time to abandon my routine. Although I may flow(stumble) through my day with more distractions, I give myself permission to do what I need to do for me. Journal, workout, walk, write. And with my no-guilt rule, if it doesn't happen, then guess what? That's ok too.
Instill the true meaning of the holiday. Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. We lost the "true" sense of what the holidays are about. Is Christmas about shop-til-you-drop? The meme of "being present is the best present," although cheesy, is accurate. Put the phones down (after liking and sharing this post, of course) and BE PRESENT.
Create space. Create calm. I give myself permission to create space wherever I feel squeezed or scrunched. These weeks are the crazy, hectic moments of life that can suck the air right out of you. Everyone is home, bookbags are thrown into lockers with lunches still in them, basketball games are back to back, and college kids begin their evenings at 11:00(really?!). These are the moments that I need to inhale, create space, create calm, and exhale. Repeatedly.
Enjoy the moment. This is it - is a theme woven through many of my posts. Maybe because my son is a senior, or because I will be 50 in 2020. Perhaps the idea resonates because the realization that life is evanescent hits you more as you mature. But this is it. This is the holiday of 2019. Whisking towards us like Santa's sleigh, full of joy, anxiety, excitement, and maybe a sparkly gold puffer.
I give myself permission to rejoice in the details of the every day, the successes and failures, the wrapped presents, and the crooked bows.
What do you give yourself permission to do this holiday season? This coming year? As always -- I wish you the best of luck with that.
Love and Luck,
Wishing all of you a wonderful and joyous holiday. Stay tuned for some upcoming posts on how to write those pesky college scholarship essays, planning and goal setting for 2020 and more! Thank you for reading!