The holidays are coming, which means more of just about everything in your life - more social engagements, more stuff, more food, more people, and hopefully more joy. But let's be honest, as much as many of us enjoy the excesses of the season, the chaos can leave a lot of us feeling overwhelmed come January.
A few too many parties, a culinary over-indulgence or two, and a little over-excitement when gift shopping can leave us feeling exhausted, unhealthy, financially overstretched, and surrounded by giant piles of stuff, so that just when you should be starting the new year with energy, you're instead feeling frazzled and exhausted.
There is a solution though, according to blog Be More With Less. It just requires a little forethought and planning. To avoid being depleted by the festive season, a recent post recommends a thorough pre-holiday decluttering - not just of your home, but of your schedule, and your mind too. That way, when the wave of holiday more-ness hits you, you'll be ready to embrace the chaos (and all the trinkets and turkey) with a wise and open heart.
The post offers a complete guide with lots of links to further ideas and explanation, but here are the basic eight steps to a thorough pre-holiday decluttering:
- Home. "A pre-holiday sweep will make room for holiday decor, winter boots, and other seasonal stuff. Put the ornaments and other holiday stuff you decorate with through a decluttering filter too. Just because you've saved something for decades doesn't mean you are obligated to keep it forever," explains the post.
- Schedule. Enough party invites to exhaust an elephant are probably on their way, so "build in time to take care of yourself, and don't overschedule. Leave room for holiday magic."
Heart. Some people struggle emotionally this time of year. "Journaling, daily walks, meditating, engaging in difficult conversations and even asking for professional help," before you're struck by the blues can help.
Mind. Your to-do list is about to get even more insane, so make some mental space to deal with all those tasks with a simple mindfulness practice.
Money. "There is so much pressure to overspend during the holidays, but resist," urges the post. A bit of pre-holiday budgeting and reflection can help clear the pressures to pull out the credit card more than you should.
Digital. "You are about to get an email from any business who has your email address," the post wisely predicts. Start unsubscribing now.
Traditions and obligations. "Hold onto the traditions that warm your heart, but let go of the others, especially the ones you resent or find exhausting. Just ask yourself, 'Does this fill my heart or empty it?'" suggests the post.
You. "Take care of yourself. It's the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love." Amen to that!
Do you often end up feeling like you need a holiday to recover from the holidays come January?