Pace yourself this holiday season: 5 tips for survival

Written by Caroline Dowd-Higgins. Posted in Featured

Published on November 13, 2019 with No Comments

Oh for the days when Thanksgiving heralded the start of the holidays. Over the past few years, it seems that a kind of holiday creep has overtaken the days of autumn. The holiday roll-out in the U.S. has gotten earlier and earlier – to the point where, anymore, Halloween is the official start of the holiday season, carrying us straight through to Auld Lang Syne! No sooner have we packed away the sleeveless tops, sandals and windbreakers than the halls of stores far and wide are decked to the rafters with boughs of holly and everything else the season has to offer.

So with a whole extra month of “the holidays” staring you in the face whenever you turn on the TV, log onto Amazon, or run into your favorite store, I’m here to remind you to pace yourself. Here are 5 tips to help you go the holiday distance:

  1. Get Adequate Sleep.We hear it over and over again, but sleep really is the most basic of all the building blocks for mental and physical well being. So many of us are moving through the world in a chronically sleep-deprived state which affects everything from cognitive ability, to weight gain, to social/emotional intelligence and mood. After hitting the proverbial wall due to burning the candle at both ends, I made a pact with myself to get eight hours of sleep every night, and it has served me so well. It can do the same for you – especially during these last two months of the year.
  2. Detach from screens. You may laugh out loud reading this tip, but the more you can live in the moment and away from a screen the better! There is no question that screen time can leech away feelings of wellbeing – especially when guilt starts creeping in because it’s keeping you up too late, or taking time away from your family. I’m making a conscious effort to avoid the “screen abyss,” and to do life in more unplugged fashion whenever I can. I challenge you to do the same this holiday season. Doing a digital detox is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.
  3. Be open to receiving as well as giving. ‘Tis the season to want to give and give, and then give some more, however, if we’re only open to giving rather than receiving, it can actually serve to block the flow of abundance into our lives, according to Amanda Owen, author of The Power of Receiving.Owen says it’s important to have balance between the two – that giving as well as graciously receiving gifts, compliments, etc. keep our channel of abundance open to new experiences and much joy.
  4. Know your “No”… And don’t be afraid to use it. 
  5. Let go of “Perfect”! Juggling the demands of work, family, and all of the decorating, shopping, socializing, donating, turkey roasting, gift-wrapping, card-sending, and all around merry-making that the holidays bring… can drive a woman to be very UN-merry…and even more so if she has perfectionist tendencies. Allow yourself to forget “perfect” this holiday season, and do your best to embrace simplicity and a feeling of contentment. Remember that “good enough” is often just that – good enough!

With two months of holiday-time ahead, we owe it to ourselves to practice radical self-care, set strong boundaries and approach it all as a marathon rather than a sprint. I encourage you to stick a note on the frig, or your bureau mirror reminding you that “Slow and steady wins the race!” this holiday season.



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About Caroline Dowd-Higgins

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Caroline Dowd-Higgins authored the book "This Is Not the Career I Ordered" (now in the 2ndedition) and maintains the career reinvention blog of the same name. She is Vice President of Career Coaching and Employer Connections for the Ivy Tech Community Collegesystem and contributes to Huffington PostThrive GlobalEllevate Network,Mediumand The Chronicle newspaper in Indiana.Her online show:Thrive!about career & life empowerment for women is on YouTube. Caroline hosts the award winning podcast, Your Working Lifeon iTunesand SoundCloud. Follow her on FacebookLinkedIn,Google+,and Twitter.

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