By early November most of us have started to get invitations to holiday events and if you are going to be hosting your own event now is the time to start planning. This is also the time of year that many of us are trying to take some time off to be with our families as well as finish out the work year (read: do more in less time). All of those things can easily end up with you taking less time for you. In order for you to remain functioning at your highest level, it is important to maintain that "me" time. Especially during the busiest times in our lives. We have come up with several ways to make sure this happens.
- Put time for yourself on your calendar. If you are like me, if it isn't on my calendar there is a good chance it won't happen, and if something makes its way on there, it takes precedence over anything else going on. Putting time for yourself on your calendar by scheduling an activity (like a massage!) is a great way to avoid the dreaded "I'll do that when I get time..." because as well all know, you won't ever get time during the holidays.
- Make decisions that allow for more time to do what you want (or need) to do for your health. I know people that use all disposible dishes at family holiday gatherings to eliminate the need to do dishes thus cutting stress, workload, and allowing for more time with family. If you don't want to do that for environmental reasons, maybe put the fine china away and use something dishwasher safe to cut down on clean up time. Anything you change or adjust that affords more time doing the activities that are fun and less time preparing and cleaning up from those activities can give you much needed "me" time.
- Before you say yes to any invitation, make sure it is something that you really want (or in some cases, need) to do. It is an unhealthy practice to forgo the things you like for things you don't just because you don't want to say no. Remember, all those things that you love doing with your family that aren't formal enough to require invitations are still very important and may take precedence over other events.
- If you are the scheduler of events in your house, schedule some events for others that don't neccessarily include you. I'm not saying send everyone away, but maybe sending the kids shopping with your spouse for the afternoon might be a good idea. Whether you are in charge of the household schedule or are just a contributor, it is imporant to make sure that everyone knows when a family member is having "me" time in order to make sure it is not interrupted unneccessarily.
Routines change during busy times in our lives, like the holidays, but priorities shouldn't. Things that are truly important to your health and well being in June are still important in December and we still need to make sure we have time for these activities. If taking care of ourselves slips too much it can definitly impact our ability to do the things we want for our family and loved ones.