Confessions of a Twenty-Something: Staying Present for the Holidays 🎁
The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of year, so why do so many of us feel burnt out to the point in which it's virtually impossible to enjoy the holidays fully?
I've felt like this for a few years. First, it was learning how to juggle the holiday season as a bona fide adult (though I don't fully claim adulthood even six years after society declared me an adult 😅). Then, just as I feel like I'm gaining my footing, COVID strikes and my family experiences some devastating blows. Thankfully, the losses didn't come around the holidays, but all of the firsts after losses are difficult no matter how much time has passed.
Furthermore, I've been getting a lot of reminders of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" recently, which has led me down a bit of a mindset rabbit hole. One of the major themes of the story is coming back to the core of Christmas, which is spending quality time with your loved ones. So often, I feel like we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season, whether that's getting gifts for your loved ones or attending all the holiday events possible, which causes us to lose sight of what's truly important: love and joy.
Therefore, it is with this lesson in mind that I write to you with urgency- hoping to help you salvage the rest of this holiday season and holiday seasons to come. Because we as a society are truly loosing touch with what's important and getting caught up in the glitz and glam of the season or letting life's stresses take away what should be a time filled with love and recharging for the new year ahead.
If this has resonated with you, then here are some ways you can work to stay present this holiday season:
Stop Doing the Most
This is the first step in enjoying any season of your life! I know it may seem a little backwards because you'd potentially be losing time with your friends and family, but trust me- quality over quantity is the way to go, especially during the holidays.
Trust me- this step won't feel good at first and may be one that you struggle with for months to come. However, when you slow down and work to find a balance that works for both your personal needs and the external needs all around you, you're quality of life will increase exponentially.
To illustrate, as a teacher I feel like I constantly need to be educating my students (that's what I'm there for, right?). However, my last couple days with my kiddos before break showed me that the best lessons & memories don't always come from our typical daily routine. During our time together, we truly got to share the magic of the holidays with one another. We learned about holidays around the world, watched Santa Paws (which Ms. Morse may or may not have really got in to...), and swapped gifts with one another.
Were these days packed with the usual educational rigor I provide to my students? Absolutely not, but I walked away with my heart fuller than ever before (especially after watching all my kiddos open their gift from Mr. Rocanelli and I and seeing their faces light up). And I know my kids were reminded of a lesson or two that may not have to do with math or science, but will hopefully stay with them for a lifetime.
This experience just goes to show that you don't have to continue plugging along and constantly keep yourself busy. Had we continued to work at the same pace that we usually do, my kiddos and I would've went into this holiday break feeling burnt out and exhausted. Don't get me wrong, this teacher was TIRED when she got off for break, but she also had a lot of joy in her heart ❤️
Stay Off Your Phone
Your phone is one of the biggest brain sucks in your life. Don't get me wrong, there are SO many benefits that our phones provide us, but the lack of attention it allows us to have to our surroundings is a huge drawback.
Therefore, in order to stay present in the moment and feel better overall, I challenge you to stay off your phone when you have the potential to create memories with your loved ones. This time is all about giving and one of the most precious things you can give your loved ones is your presence.
If you struggle to keep yourself away from your phone (I know I do 🙋🏻♀️), here are a couple of tips to pull yourself away:
1) Place your phone out of reach when possible
2) Put timer limits on your phone usage and/or the apps that pull most of your attention (looking at you TikTok! 👀)
3) Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
4) Delete apps that you need a detox from
5) Put your willing participants' phones in "phone jail" during a gathering
Take Time to Refill Your Cup
For a time that's supposed to be so joyful, it's so easy to get drained- even when you're doing the fun stuff! Therefore, in order to maximize your enjoyment of the season, it's critical to take the time you need to refill your cup.
For me, these times look like...
Reading a Book- I just recently finished the Harry Potter Series for the millionth time and started November 9th by Colleen Hoover
Shower Self-Care- Recently, my favorite thing to do has been to light a candle, turn off the lights, and blast my favorite jams
Journaling- No matter how you're feeling this holiday season, journaling is SUCH a great way to capture the moment and process any emotions coming up
Not sure how to get started with journaling? Check out this post!
Playing Games- It seems silly, but taking a few minutes to play a game on my phone has been a great little brain break for me to put a little extra in my cup before the next activity
What does refilling your cup look like to you? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for reading and supporting Kimberly Brooke Wellness this year! I'm wishing you a loving, present, safe holiday season and hope you put these mindset shifts to good use 💛