5 Ways to Prioritize YOURSELF During the Holidays
The holiday season is synonymous with thinking about the needs of others. While it's great to remember and take care of the people who take priority in your life, you can’t put yourself at the bottom of the list. It’s also your holiday and it should be the most wonderful time of the year for everybody, including you. Traveling, managing relatives, hosting, cooking, cleaning and shopping while maintaining your regular commitments and work schedule can leave you pretty empty and you can’t pour from an empty cup, much less feel joyous, relaxed and thankful. It’s most definitely not an acceptable way for you to start the new decade!
Here are five ways to keep yourself in your thoughts this holiday season and set yourself up for a better New Year!
Spend within your Means:
An empty savings account and/or a huge looming credit card bill is one of the worst ways to go into January. The Christmas holiday is the consumer holiday. It’s designed to make sure you spend money. And, lots of it. In fact, over 50% of people feel pressure to spend more than they’re comfortable with.
Overspending or even feeling the need to overspend on parties, gifts, travel and donations can be incredibly stressful and draining. However, by budgeting the holidays, you’re setting yourself up for a better 2020. Spending limits on Secret Santa and team gifts for bosses and supervisors are great money savers. It can be uncomfortable to be the one to purpose this but everyone around you is probably aligned with your thinking and will be grateful you spoke up. Or at least, 50% of them!
It can also be helpful to make A, B, and C lists of potential gift recipients. Focus on your A list first, then your B list. Depending on your network and family size, you may not get to your C list or even through the B list. However, you can still buy a box of cards and wish people well with thoughtful handwritten notes.
Limit Hosting in your Space:
Your home doesn’t have to turn into an Airbnb, social club or an entertainment venue. While hosting can be great, repeatedly cooking, cleaning and entertaining can take a lot out of a person, sometimes without you even realizing it. A clean, organized living space is essential to a good headspace. Nobody wants to go back to work on January 2 with an air mattress/sibling set up in their living room. You can ease up on the traffic coming through your house and the level of responsibility you carry by:
- Hosting a potluck
- Using a condo party room
- Going out to a restaurant or public space
- Big party? You can rent a space for under $100.
Distinguish your Wants VS. Needs:
People will buy you gifts this season. We’re adults so we’re taught to play down the fact we kind of, but most definitely have a wish list. Instead of saying things like “you don’t need to get me anything,” or “I’ll love anything you get me,” tell people what you want when and if they ask.
Getting something, you want will make you feel special and it enables the people around you to meet your needs. It also reduces waste, returns and your friends and family members randomly walking around the mall for hours on end looking a gift.
Maintain your Daily Habits:
If you throw away all of your routines and habits for almost two weeks, it’s going to be pretty tough to jump back into everything come January 2 and it will be even harder to improve on your everyday lifestyle.
Even if you plan on indulging like crazy and relaxing to the absolute max, it’s important to continue on with your regular lifestyle and healthy habits you’ve worked hard to implement into your routine. If you always take a spin class on Thursday nights, don’t skip it just because it’s the holidays. Eat your veggies, drink your water, even if you’re chasing with wine and half a gingerbread house. A couple weeks off can pretty easily become a couple months off.
Set your Goals for Next Year:
It’s important to have things to look forward to and it’s important to write down your goals. Going into the New Year, make sure you know how you want the next year and even some of the next decade to turn out.
This practice is vital because you are more likely to hit your goals if you write them down. There’s also a chance you’re going to go home and might be around people relatives who make you feel not so good sometimes. Evaluating your life and its future direction will help you remain confident and secure, even in times of criticism about your life choices, politics, dog’s name, posture, haircut, nail polish and other things you’re “not doing right.”
If you’re new to the goal setting practice. The SMART concept is a good place to start.