When the time comes for gathering together and celebrating the season by opening gifts or enjoying a festive meal, would you like to feel you still have something left to give? Before life gets out of hand, pause to consider two different ways to do this month.
The first way is to set high expectations for this month, rush headlong into it, and wake up January first feeling utterly, profoundly exhausted. The second approach is to set and follow gentle goals while you practice self-nourishment throughout the month.
If the second way sounds better to you, we offer you these four questions to help you choose how your December will unfold:
What if you under-planned? Most of us have more brilliant ideas and holiday visions than actual time. When we over-plan, disappointment and overwhelm can follow. By contrast, under-planning reduces your stress and helps you feel resilient when unexpected surprises come up (and they always do). How would you feel if you planned fewer activities and shortened your to-do list this month?
What if you felt nourished? Imagine how it would feel to take a walk in the morning, or read a book unhurriedly, or regularly enjoy a full night’s sleep. This feeling is possible when we devote time to self care. Although it might seem selfish, devoting time to yourself can be a gift to everyone you love. If you felt rested and nourished this month, how might this positively affect your loved ones?
What if being there was enough? Some of us are starting to realize that stuff doesn’t bring that much satisfaction in the long run. Quality time and meaningful moments touch our hearts, and the memories last a lifetime. If the people you care about preferred your time to more things, how would this affect your gift-giving priorities?
How would you like to feel on January 1st? When you wake up on the first day of 2017, how nourished you’ll feel will be a result of choices you made in December. If you decide you want to feel rested and ready to take on the new year, what can you do this month to support that?
With purposeful choices and a little reflection, December can be a time of meaningful connection with the people who matter most to you. You’ll be ready to meet the new year, refreshed and ready.