Happy holidays to all of you who celebrate this time of year!
I’m sending you my warmest wishes for lots of yummy food, lots of sleeping in, and safe travels.
And maybe you’ll have time over the break to clear your mind and get some perspective and start thinking about how things went this year, and what you might want to create for yourself next year.
Time for Reflection
People have celebrated this time of years for tens of thousands of years, as the last celebration before the cold hard months of darkness settled in.
The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year, a time when we want to cuddle up with our loved ones and not get out of bed. No wonder it’s been associated with birth and the creation of new life!
Darkness gives us time to think and reflect and plan. The New Year is just around the corner, and there are some things that have just got to change.
What have you been putting up with?
What hasn’t been working for you?
How do you think you could do things differently?
And by that I don’t mean lose weight and use that gym membership! Body modification is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about New Year’s resolution, but there are more important things to consider…
Like how we can create a life that works for us, instead of working our life away.
Running on Empty
How many of you are exhausted? Yeah, me, too!
Nothing ever seems to slow down. It’s just one crisis after another. You’re always behind on something.
When you’re running on fumes, you can’t do much more than stumble through the day and fall into bed at night ravenous for a few hours where you don’t have to think and you can just stare at a screen.
It’s no wonder that so much of our dating has switched over to screens. Getting dressed and going out and making conversation with someone is so much harder than lying in bed in your pajamas texting them.
But maybe, just maybe, we can’t create the space for love until we create space for us.
Maybe what we need is more fuel in our tank.
How Do You Fuel Yourself?
When your life is working for you, everything is easier.
Meeting people is easier. Finding the energy to go out is easier. Shrugging off rejection is easier.
But when you’re burned out everything is impossible.
People annoy you. Everything seems like extra work. No matter what you try, you just know it’s never going to work.
So perhaps this holiday season, instead of giving yourself more to do, you might find ways to do less.
How can you find more fuel so that you don’t keep running out?
Fuel comes in many forms.
Sometimes that fuel is spiritual, having time to be quiet and contemplate and feel connected to something greater than yourself.
Sometimes that fuel is social, feeling recharged by your friends and getting out and being surrounded by people.
And sometimes that fuel comes from pleasure, from treating yourself in the very best way possible (because that’s what you do for people you love).
Make time for fueling yourself up.
Know what you need to do to fill those inner reserves.
And if it means turning down things, turn them down.
If it means disappointing people, disappoint them.
You can’t give when you’ve got nothing left to give.
It’s Okay to Feel Guilty
I find that really hard this time of year, when there’s so much to do and so many expectations riding on it.
So maybe I won’t start until after the holidays!
For all of you people-pleasers, it can be hard to feel like you have the right to time to yourself.
But if you want to give people your best self, then you’ve got to start figuring out what makes you feel like your best self.
And sometimes that will mean setting down really clear boundaries around your availability.
As Dr. Gabor Maté explains, it’s better to feel guilty for disappointing someone than resentful for doing something you didn’t want to do.
So here’s to disappointing people!
Here’s to saying no!
Here’s to choosing ourselves, even when other people expect us to choose them!
That simple shift takes enormous courage, and it may very well shock people who are used to you always saying yes, but it will give you your energy back.
Energy you can use for the things you really want, like getting out and meeting new people and experiencing how easy life is when you’re not tired all the time.
Take really good care of yourself, and have the happiest of holidays!