Well guys, we’ve made it through the first week of December!! If your week was anything like mine you’re probably still reeling at how fast it absolutely FLEW by us. Part of the reason it feels especially crazy for me is because it’s Q4– in the business world, Q4 (or the 4th quarter of the fiscal year) means that we’re wrapping up everything for the business while simultaneously planning for the year ahead. Also, at Hollis Co we are downright fanatical about our staff being able to enjoy their time off. In fact, one of our core values is WORK Hard | LIVE Well and we need to have everything wrapped up in the next couple of weeks so nobody is checking in during their time off. Also, we needed to get our Christmas decor up (one of the highlights of my year!) and I have four kids and holiday travel on the horizon and dude… it’s just a lot of things. All good things, but a lot of things just the same and I believe if I wasn’t incredibly intentional about how to thrive during the holidays I would probably process all of this as stress rather than blessings. I thought perhaps it might be helpful for y’all if I shared what I do to stay grounded and focused (as well as organized) during this season. As always, I hope it’s helpful and if it is I’d so appreciate if you shared this post with your community or post on Pinterest. Have a great season friend! –Rach
Make a List
No, not of who’s been naughty and definitely not of all your to-do’s. If you really want to thrive this season (or frankly any season) you need to make a list of things that fill your heart and feed your spirit. I’d love for you to have a list like this for all year long (read more about this on my Instagram here) but for the holiday season you should plan to have a list of what will give you life, instead of things that zap your energy. Not sure where to start? Think back to holidays in your past and which elements really made it feel special for you. The joyful memories are rarely –and I mean rarely– commercialized or huge financial investments. They’re not gifts. They’re moments and experiences: baking with grandma, holiday mugs, driving around and looking at lights, playing board games as a family… if you can create a list of holiday moments of joy you can build out the next three weeks around those things and –here’s the key– say NO to everything else. Remember friends, a yes to someone else’s agenda (your mother-in-law’s plans or volunteering at church or a party with friends) is a no to your agenda. Here’s a great example for you. This time of year I get invited to all kinds of “girls nights” and holiday parties and it so kind for the women in my community to invite me. Here’s the thing though, all I want for Christmas is… rest. I want to hang out in pajamas with my kids watching holiday movies and drinking tea out of a reindeer mug in front of my tree. Does that same lame and boring? Maybe to you but to me it sounds like a dream come true. In years past I would feel so guilty saying no to kind invitations that I would go and then feel bitter about my lack of downtime. Now we define our family’s plans for this time of year in advance and I politely decline everything else without a moment of guilt.
Plan to Succeed
I have likely given you this advice a hundred times on the blog over the years but that’s only because it absolutely helps so much to relieve stress. Sit down today for thirty minutes (or more if you need it) and plan out everything you’ll need to do, accomplish, purchase, prep, cook, buy, bake, etc for the rest of December. Made the list? Awesome, now go back through and remove anything that isn’t absolutely essential to your joy and enjoyment. Remember in my last book I talked all about focusing on the results you want not the to-do list? Don’t write down things like: holiday shopping, write down specific results like: buy mom fleece robe. This tells you exactly what you need to accomplish making efficiency easier. By doing as much prep work as you can in advance you’ll be better able to relax and be present in the moment.
Health Doesn’t Take Holiday Vacation
You guys I am going to eat so much melted cheese this month! Seriously, if you take a wander through the recipes on this site from the years I was a food blogger (and you should!) you will see my deep and abiding love for dips and cookies and cakes and cocktails. For me, a big part of holiday fun is in cooking and baking. In years past I would use my love of holiday foods as an excuse to sabotage all the work I’d done with my health in the year prior — this is the main reason we started the #Last90Days Challenge— but the thing I can tell you for sure is that when you give up all of your healthy habits just because you’re enjoying more treats than you normally would you’re making a dumb decision. Yes dumb. I just called you dumb because I too have been a dummy many times. Think of it like this, if you got a flat on one of the tires of your car would you get out and immediately slash the other three tires? NO! You wouldn’t because that would be crazy. But you have some cookies at the office or a glass of wine at a party and suddenly it’s like “Well, I’ll just eat everything for the next three weeks and start again on New Years.” Don’t. Be. Dumb. Have some fun but stick with all the other stuff. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Workout for at least thirty minutes, every day. Eat some greens! For the love of all, eat some fruits and veggies so you’re balancing out the cheese log. Have fun, enjoy, but if you really want to thrive during the holidays you will continue to make choices that bless your body.