Learn how to protect your energy over the festive period. Discover ways to set boundaries and avoid burnout, stress, and falling prey to people-pleaser tendencies.
Whether you have been planning since last year or feel that December has snuck up out of nowhere, we are about to tip into the most festive of periods and all the swirling feelings and emotions this time of year can bring. Personally, I struggle with feelings of overwhelm at this time of year (something I explored in this blog about being the Grinch) and I know many other folks do too.
It's a trap!
All the commercials, movies and TV specials will have you believe that this time of year needs to look a certain way, providing a blueprint many of us have grown up with of how December is supposed to roll. The perfect vibe, decorations, gifts, food, and drinks combined in picture-perfect ways with friends and family leaving everyone smiling and content, tucked up with hot chocolate and matching PJs at the end of each day. Cosy winter bliss, right?
But what if you are the person in charge of organising all that perfection, the one with all the pressure, expense and expectation resting on your shoulders - do you really get to be enjoying it as much as everyone else or are you anxiously thinking ahead to the next thing on your festive to-do list and missing out on being present (pun intended).
Being on autopilot and doing what's expected without being aware of the toll it is taking can leave you feeling burned out and exhausted, limping into January and longing for a real break so you can recover from the festive break. How about you approach this year differently? Here are 3 simple tips you can apply (starting now) to ensure you can enjoy this season too.
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.
No points for guessing this would be on the list, boundaries are an essential part of protecting your time and energy, but setting them is only part of the puzzle - boundaries are a doing word. Setting boundaries is one thing, but the true power comes when you put them into action. Being clear on what is important to you and then being intentional about protecting it is what matters when setting boundaries. That means communicating them clearly; noticing when they are crossed and then taking action to remedy the situation. It's also important to remember that boundaries need to breathe - they are not solid walls. If you set your boundaries too high and too solid then they also keep out help and support that can be so essential. Notice your feelings about letting people in, being vulnerable and seen as messy/less than imperfect as these can help you identify where you need to let your walls down and let help in.
Plan, Plan, Plan.
17 years of working as a project manager gave me some powerful insights into how having a plan (and sticking to it) can be really helpful when trying to coordinate a lot of things at once.
And it doesn't need to be anything fancy - the key element of any project plan is to know what needs to be done and why and then WHO is doing it.
Spending as little as an hour or so one evening to brain dump all the things flying around your head out onto paper and then sorting them out into whatever order makes sense for you can help bring you some comfort and reduce overwhelm. Break the list down into things that are urgent and important and then focus on the things that are both urgent and important so you can get some traction.
Also, look for things that could be delegated to someone else - remember you don't have to do All The Things yourself. (Unless you really do enjoy feeling frazzled and frantic?)
Rest, Rest, Rest.
For as many days as you are Doing, try to have an equal amount of simply Being. I know this may not be possible if you are someone balancing work, family and social activities all on top of each other but that is even more reason to try and have as much YOU time as possible so that you don't feel depleted.
Blank out time now in your diary for literally nothing to happen. Create pockets of sacred alone time where you get to decide what you do. Remember, this has only been a season of celebration and excess for a few hundred years. For thousands of years before that, humans would have turned to restful practices during the winter, seeing it as a time for quiet reflection and slowing down.
The festive season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a period of exhaustion if we don't take care of ourselves first.
Protecting your energy during this period is essential for not just making the most of the special moments but also for maintaining your mental well-being.
Boundaries, plans and rest - if these are things you struggle with then you may be interested in joining the next 3 month round of Reconnect, a group coaching programme for people ready for more.
Doors open on 08.12.22 and we begin with an opening circle on the Winter Solstice. Why not book a free 30-minute discovery call to see if Reconnect is a good fit for you?