The holidays are around the corner, and there’s no doubt that they will look like nothing we’ve seen before. Socially distanced Secret Santa parties and menorah lightings by the blue light of your computer screen will surely be more common this year than ever before. And while we might be staying in more this season, the holidays nonetheless will continue to pull us in a million different directions – virtually and IRL (in real life).
During the holiday season, you might have your kids home from college, cousins across the country on Facetime, Grandma visiting and needing another cup of tea, a pecan pie in the oven, and… oh yeah, was I supposed to have a conference call today? Sure, you may reflect on these experiences with pride and accomplishment, thinking that you can do it all. But when you really look back and think about how you felt and what you remember during these moments, were you really there for any of it? Or was your mind stuck on what you didn’t quite finish in the previous task, or wandering to what you were going to do next? Were you ever really there, in the present?
When a lot is being asked of us, it’s easy to be half-in on everything and, thus, not 100% there for anything. You can’t be all things to all people and all projects all the time, but you can be your best self during the times that are uniquely important to you.
So how can you really pause and be present, and be all-in during these most important moments amid the chaos? It really comes down to creating boundaries with yourself and with others, and managing the expectations you set for yourself. Squaring away your priorities, reflecting on what brings you joy, and balancing it all with grace are crucial steps in being able to put your most intentional foot forward. Maybe that means skipping the neighborhood bake sale (and catty gossip) in lieu of catching up on blog posts for the month – or maybe you need that catch-up time with your community and the content creation can wait. Being honest with what you need will allow you the space to be all-in in whatever you choose to do, without judgment.
This is where we want to encourage you to move forward by pausing, being present, and dedicating all of you to what you choose to do. If your child is home for the holidays or you have family visiting for the afternoon, why not simply sit in the kitchen and enjoy your tea with them, catching up on the nuances of life? Share photos, songs, and stories, or involve them in your cooking, creating a memory in the kitchen that will translate to deliciousness on your plate (Side note: let’s not get too multi-tasky here, though).
When it comes to your work, if you’re able, take some true time away. Wrap up loose ends, see what you can delegate, and turn the OOO on. Even if you can’t step away, set a boundary with your family or the people around you that you are unavailable between certain hours, so that when you are working, you can be fully present, productive, and all-in on what you’re trying to accomplish to move your projects forward.
There’s a reason we’re bringing this up now, in advance of the holidays: so you have time to set up your systems and get your ducks in a row so you can actually enjoy some of the slowed down time that the holidays offer. Figure out what you can and cannot get done, what you need to power through to give yourself ease during the holidays, and what you can put off until 2021 so you can sip your eggnog stress-free.
We never look back on things we did half-way – whether it’s a workout, a marketing email, or a dinner with friends – and feel happy that we didn’t give it our all. Take a moment to pause and plan out your days and weeks so you can allow yourself the buffer and breathing room to really soak in the beauty and peace that is around you.
Originally published at productiveflourishing.com