Creating Balance During the Holidays
The holidays have always been my favorite time of the year. It’s the only time of year where we slow down our hearts to focus on what truly matters. The days get shorter, the air gets colder, and we decide to get after grateful, surrounded by those we love the most. It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year but on the same note, it’s the busiest.
Not only are we still juggling our responsibilities at work & church, we now have to fit in all the holiday festivities -- the baking, the parties, the shopping, the family functions, the 25 Days of Christmas Movies and of course the cheesy Hallmark Christmas Movies (duh!)-- basically everything that comes with the holiday hustle and bustle.
Let’s face it, the holiday can be a busy season for us all. Maybe you’re like me, traveling home to another state every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It can be hard to balance your responsibilities while still trying to enjoy the magic of the season. If we’re not careful, it can easily turn from calm and bright to ho ho horrifying. Don’t get caught up in the chaos of the season. Here’s how you can create balance this holiday season.
Schedule your priorities.
Don’t let the holiday season make you lazy. You don’t get a hall pass to excuse you from your everyday responsibilities. Make sure you finish out the season and year strong by scheduling your priorities. Before you get invited to all the Christmas parties or plop yourself on the couch to watch all your favorite Christmas classics, schedule your non-negotiables. Ask yourself what ball you can not drop this holiday season. Once you identify those responsibilities, plug them into your calendar. That way you can make time for what matters most but still enjoy the holiday magic.
Make room for margin.
While you want to make sure that you’re scheduling your priorities, don’t fill your calendar to the brim. Leave room for margin. One of the worse things you can do during the holiday season is to run yourself ragged by hopping from a holiday function to the next. Leave room to enjoy the season and those around you. When you’re setting your schedule, leave a few blocks of time open to enjoy whatever comes your way. You don’t want to be bogged down by an overwhelming schedule and an overflowing to-do list. Make room for margin.
Embrace your traditions, and let go of the rest.
Be fully present.
Admittedly, this is an area where I’ve struggled with the last few years. Every time I’ve gone home, I would still be working like crazy on my laptop trying to grow my business as if God didn’t create this thing called rest. Don’t let the demands of work keep you from enjoying those around you this season. Be fully present with them. Close up your laptop. Put your phone on airplane mode. Have face to face time with your friends and family. Your to-do list or social media shouldn’t be more pressing than spending time with those you love. Spend quality time with them, being fully present where you are.
Savor the season.
In the midst of the holiday chaos, don’t forget to savor the season. Slow down and take time to sip it all in. Make time for intentional rest. Enjoy your loved ones. Remember the true reason for this season: the birth of our Lord Savior, Jesus Christ. Don’t get caught up in the busyness of it all. Step back and truly savor the season.
Don’t let the holidays stress you out and take away your joy. It is possible to create balance this holiday season. Prioritize what matters most. Make room for margin. Hold yourself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. Be fully present with those around you and savor every bit of this holiday season.