Cue Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”

We’re already there–the last 17 days of 2018 is out the door, and even closer,  barely a week till Christmas–yikes!

My brain is already tackling multiple things at once, but during this time of year, I’m running in hyperdrive. To be honest, in the past, there’s been years where I’d run wild: post-it notes, notepads, backs of used envelopes and receipts, voice memos, emails to-self, “hey babe, can you remind me to [fill in the blank], please?” (That makes my heart rate go up just reading all that!) As you can imagine, having my tasks strung around on all the various mediums I chose made it impossible to remember everything, let alone capture what my priorities were. Even more important, because I was at wit’s end trying to wrangle my head on all this, it meant I didn’t leave much room for myself (hello, self-care) or for my loved ones.

All the Things

In recent years, I’ve taken on various roles, many overlapping (see: business partner, spouse, parent, adjunct professor, non-profit board president, task force leader, local events volunteer, yoga instructor… there’s that heartrate again). Add in holiday parties, gift wrapping, decorating and baking, and I start to take on part-zombie meets full-on introvert that wants to stay home and “cocoon.” And I love parties, wrapping, decorating and baking! So over some trial and error, I’ve found some great tools and methods that help me not only do “all the things,” but also maintain room for self-care and clear space to really enjoy the time I spend with others.

  1. Stay on schedule. Despite the dark wake-up times and extra chill in the air, keep up with your usual wake-up time and daily routines. That also means keeping to a regular closedown schedule before going to bed, and a regular bedtime too.
  2. Keep it together, in one place. If you learn one thing from my heartrate inducing methods previously mentioned, this is it. I’m a fan of bullet journaling, and I’ve customized my method to work best for me after some trial error. I find a single carryable notebook works best for me.
  3. Schedule time to move. Depending on where you live, outside exercise may not be available to you, and if you’re like some, going to the gym just isn’t your thing. Thankfully, there’s plenty of online programs and apps that make working out at home easily accessible, and easy to do even under the tightest schedules. We love SworkIt, Gaiam Studio, and ToneItUp, all offering a variety 10min+ workouts from home.
  4. Have some cookies and wine. Enjoy them, don’t go overboard, but don’t torture yourself from completely refraining the season’s treats either. (James will entirely back me up on this one!)
  5. Schedule unscheduled time, for you and for your family. Leave intentional time to be intentionally by yourself and with your family. Put the phone/computer/device away, and do something that makes you happy and that’ll create memories with you and your loved ones.
  6. Reflect. Take time to review, acknowledge, and appreciate your 2018. I found YearCompass a couple years ago, and it’s an easy-to-incorporate tool to use during the last few days of the year. I write it out in my journal, but they make it easy to print it out as a foldover booklet.

Really, this isn’t about getting through the holidays, but rather, being present and thoroughly enjoying them. We hope this message encourages and inspires you to do just that! From your creative partners–happiest holidays to you and yours–we’ll see you in 2019!