A Healthline survey showed that 62% of participants felt stressed over the holidays.
Why is that?
Shouldn’t the holidays be a time of joy, relaxation and bonding?
You might be wishing it was that way.
Instead, the holidays feel more like rushing, driving around, waiting in long lines and meticulously planning your finances. You feel anything but joy — you’re stressed, overwhelmed and it feels like you need a personal holiday from the actual holidays!
But what if I told you that the holidays could actually be a time of peace, intimacy and joy?
You can get your priorities done and still feel empowered day-to-day.
The secret is holiday self-care — but not the type of self-care you might be thinking. I’m talking about time management.
Time Management and Self-Care: How They’re Related
Time management and self-care seem unrelated — managing your time seems more relevant to business or getting your degree.
Yet, time management and self-care are intertwined.
See, time management is about spending your time on things that align with your purpose and priorities. And when you don’t manage your time well, you don’t have enough time to do the things you love and that are important to your well-being — like hobbies, exercise and downtime.
When you do manage your time well, your life shifts in a more positive direction:
- More work/life balance
- More time (and space) to breathe
- More appreciation for the blessings in your life
- More clarity around your priorities and vision
- More energy through physical self-care (good nutrition, enough exercise and quality sleep)
Yet, self-care during the holidays is something we often leave on the back burner. Instead of feeling the above benefits, you may feel overwhelmed and burned out. Worst case, you may compromise your immune system — the last thing you want in today’s circumstances.
The holidays don’t have to be a source of dread. Following these tips can help you manage your time better so that you can stay empowered and enjoy yourself during the holidays.
Holiday Self-Care: 3 Tips to Better Manage Your Time (So You Can Enjoy Time for Yourself and With Your Loved Ones)
#1 Plan Early and Prioritize
Planning smart and early is key to keeping the holiday season as stress-free as possible — especially with the new COVID-19 guidelines around crowds and gatherings.
Creating a list of things you need to do keeps you focused, safe, and helps prevent anything from slipping through the cracks. Here are some items you may want to include on your holiday checklist:
- Make a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for
- Compile recipes you want to cook (and be sure to factor in time for trial runs if it’s a new dish)
- Pick a day to set up holiday decorations
- If you’re traveling, make sure your passport is up-to-date
- If you’re hosting, pick a date to send reminders
- Dedicate time for wrapping gifts
- Regular self-care
- Consider multiple smaller parties or online parties (via Zoom or Skype) instead of larger gatherings, in light of COVID-19 regulations
Next, look at your calendar. Women often feel unnecessary pressure if they wait until the week before to get through their holiday tasks. Instead, spread your tasks throughout the upcoming weeks.
For example, let’s say you’re hosting a small holiday party one month from now. Your upcoming weekends might look like this:
Weekend 1: Make a list of gifts to buy (don’t forget to get something special for yourself!), send invitations to party guests, plan recipes for the party and indulge your sweet tooth with a seasonal drink (remember to support your local businesses!)
Weekend 2: Put up Christmas decorations, test recipes, purchase gifts and enjoy your favorite holiday movie with the family and a warm beverage!
Weekend 3: Deep clean your home (hire a cleaner to save time and energy!), set hand sanitizers next to the front door, wrap presents and treat yourself to a massage.
Weekend 4: Remind your party guests of time and location and soothe your body with a warm bath and face mask so you’re rested for the party.
Naturally, the holiday season brings more responsibilities on top of your day-to-day obligations. If you want to tackle the holidays with greater ease, prioritization is essential. And sometimes, prioritizing means saying no.
You’re already so busy.
Declining things outside holiday-related tasks and taking time for yourself helps you stay grounded and productive.
#2 Ask for Support
When you have a long list of tasks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s so much to do… How will you find the time?
The great thing is: you don’t need to do everything yourself.
A lot goes on during the holidays and sometimes it requires a team effort so everyone can enjoy their time together, while staying safe and healthy.
Start with delegating certain tasks.
- If you have children who can drive, have them run errands for you.
- Ask your partner if they can put up the Christmas lights.
- If you’re hosting this year’s holiday gathering, consider making it a potluck — that way, you’re not overwhelmed with handling the entire menu.
So often, women feel like they’re holding their breath just to get through the holidays, waiting for a moment to breathe and collect themselves.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Loosen your grip on the reins and let those who care for you help you.
#3 Dedicate Time to Yourself
Undoubtedly, the holiday season is a lot of hustle and bustle. And making arrangements to accommodate COVID-19 regulations may be causing more stress and grief.
Even with planning and prioritizing, you might feel like you need to sacrifice your “me” time just to make it through the holidays.
Yet, that doesn’t have to be true.
Yes, you may find yourself busier than normal, but that doesn’t always mean regular self-care gets thrown out the window. Effective time management helps you make time for YOU.
Investing just 15 to 30 minutes per day on yourself can help you feel grounded again. Within that time, you can practice meditation, go for a walk outside or take a warm bath to fend off the winter chill.
Even a few moments of mindful deep breathing throughout the day can center your focus. This is especially helpful when your monkey mind is jumping between all the things you have to do.
The holidays are a time for giving — so give yourself the time and energy to love and care for yourself.
The Holidays CAN Be a Time of Joy and Rejuvenation
While you’re bound to feel some stress during the holidays, it doesn’t have to worsen into overwhelm and burnout — even when adapting to guidelines related to large gatherings.
With the right time management skills, you can knock out all your holiday responsibilities and still create time for yourself.
Because that’s what time management is all about — investing your time the best way you can and making the most of current circumstances.
Yet, I know that the holidays can be a time of struggle, and that’s why I stress the importance of my third tip — dedicating time to YOU. When you set aside intentional time for your well-being, you can reverse your stress and start feeling well-rested and balanced again.
This holiday season, I give you the gift of self-care — 15 minutes dedicated each day to loving and empowering YOU! Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.