It’s barely October, but I assure you Christmas is just around the corner. Walk into your local shopping center and you will start seeing the signs – the holidays are coming! Every year the holidays seem to show up earlier and earlier and you can’t deny the energy that comes like a freight train with it! Now, I’m all for the PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes), boots, and cozy afternoons on the couch watching movies (HA! That’s funny, right? Hang with me for a second!), but I hate the “hustle, bustle” that leaves me feeling run down by January 1st! Is there another way to get through the last few months of the year? I sure hope so!
Here’s the thing, the world can operate like a bullet train, but it really is MY choice to get on. I’m in the “Raising Littles” season of Motherhood right now. I have a 4-year-old and an 8-month old and most days I feel like the Hot Mess Express. My life IS hustle, bustle and I’m terrified of what the holidays will do to my already run-ragged self. Ladies, are ya’ with me on this? Oh, I also work full time as a therapist so I’m the first to call myself out on this.
Now that we have all raised our hands in solidarity, let’s take a deep breath. No, seriously, stop reading and take a big, deep breath. Close your eyes and think about the last three months of 2016. What do you want it to look like? What was that resolution you started the year with? Who do you see yourself spending time with? What is your priority? My guess is that you are thinking about some holiday tradition you just love passing on to your kids, or the people you love sitting down to share a meal, or finally getting a chance to crack open that book on your nightstand. The truth is that the world will never stop moving at lightning-speed, in fact it will only get faster. Setting YOUR pace is about getting off the ride and controlling your days. Here are 3 ways to set your pace and make those visions come to fruition:
Yes, I know you’re already doing this, but when was the last time you sat and took a deep breath? I guarantee that in your busy, jam-packed day you have one minute to slow down. I’m with you, I don’t have time for yoga or journaling or a retreat! However, I do have a few minutes every day. You have to be intentional with this one, carve out a moment each day when you close your eyes, step off the ride, and just be still. I have decided that 2:30PM is the best time for me and I’ve put it on my work calendar. I shut my office door and take deep, belly breaths for as long as I can spare. (Trust me, you’ll realize you have more than 1 minute when you get started). Added bonus is that breathing helps decrease anxiety and depression, improves sleep, reduces cravings, strengthens our immunity, expels toxins and much more!
• Digital Detox:
This one hurts, I know. Part of the urgency we constantly feel is because we are at the world’s beck and call. We work, shop, read, and get on social media at all hours of the day. It’s unrealistic to sign off completely, but again, what’s your intention. Set a modest goal about when you sign off. I have the entire day to be on my phone, but I only get a few hours with my family each day. I’ve decided to turn my ringer on high (in case someone really does need to reach me) and leave my phone on the counter between 5:30PM and 8:00PM. Join me! And please forgive me if you call/text during those hours and I ignore you!
• Say “NO:”
Let’s practice this one together, 1..2..3..”No.” It’s not that bad, is it? If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely the kind of woman who has a million plates in the air. If your plate already feels full, think carefully about signing up for anything more. When you get that call or email or text from well-intentioned friends or family, think carefully about the vision you had a second ago. Does this fit in? Or is this just going to get you to crash and burn sooner? Say “no” – I promise someone else can fill in. Your time is precious and you function much better when you are in a balanced place. For me, keeping a calendar is key and I always check it before committing to something new. Right now I can’t have more than one weeknight booked (for work or friends). Some birthday parties or dinners will be missed, you may not be the lead on a work project, or you may postpone starting something new, and it will all be okay.
I hope these things help. I’m right here with you, trying to slow myself down every day. It means you have to push back on what feels like the world asking you to do more. Here’s the thing, setting YOUR pace, is all about setting YOUR intention. Yes, we all have bills to pay, dinner to cook, homes to be cleaned, but we also have the choice about how much we let ourselves focus on this. This CAN be the most wonderful time of year, plan now and set the pace so you can truly enjoy these last few months, at your pace, being present, and enjoy the stuff of life that really does give you the warm-fuzzies!
~ Live well friends!