One word that often comes to mind when thinking about the holidays is more. There is more giving, more getting, more doing, spending, having, loving, falling behind, catching up, and getting run down.
There is also more opportunity for comfort and joy, and love and connection, but only if we make room for it. Take time now to do some intentional decluttering, so the more of the holidays doesn’t turn into too much.
Use this holiday decluttering guide to make room for more peace, love, light, comfort and joy during the holidays and anytime thereafter.
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. If you aren’t displaying it, or don’t like it, donate it. If you want more decluttering direction try …
How do you want to spend the holiday season? If silent nights sound more inviting than party hopping, be socially selective. You aren’t required to say yes to every invitation. Look at your regular calendar too. Build in time to take care of yourself, and don’t overschedule. Leave room for holiday magic. White space in November and December = magic.
If you struggle with busyness, try …
The holidays can trigger heavy hearts, and put a spotlight on struggling relationships. If your heart already feels heavy, seek ways to lighten it up. Journaling, daily walks, meditating, engaging in difficult conversations and even asking for professional help may all be part of the treatment plan.
My close friend and Mind-Body Therapist Rachel Shanken recommends the following exercise to feed your heart a little light:
Set a timer for 3 minutes. Sit tall. Close your eyes and bring your hands to your heart. Start by noticing the sensation of your hands against your chest. Take a big breath right into the spot underneath where your hands are, feeling the breath inflate your chest. As you continue to breathe, visualize a warm white light surrounding your heart and radiating out into your hands. With each inhale imagine the soft white light expanding around your heart and shining throughout your whole chest. With each exhale visualize that same soft light radiating from your heart back into your hands. When the timer rings, notice what has shifted inside you.
You’ll also love Rachel’s 15 Body-Mind Fast Facts, Fixes,and Tricks to make your life better. Some take even less than 3 minutes.
If your mind starts to spin with visions of sugar plums and all the things you have to make, bake, ship, buy, and do, take a big deep breath. A consistent mindfulness practice will help you put things in perspective. Calm.com offers a variety of guided, timed, and open meditation practices including Loving Kindness meditations, body scans, and sleep stories (my new favorite thing).
If you aren’t sure if meditation is for you, check out …
There is so much pressure to overspend during the holidays but resist. Don’t give out of obligation, comparison, or fear about what people will think. Respect your budget, and your heart when you give and spend over the next two months and beyond.
If you don’t have enough, and need a hand or have enough and want to lend a hand, check out Together Rising’s Holiday Hands.
You are about to get an email from any business who has your email address. Even if you have never heard from them before, their gift guides, reminders of how to spend your money (in case you forgot) and lots of other festive messages are about to take over your inbox. Unsubscribe, filter out, or simply delete any message that isn’t of immediate interest.
To further resist digital overwhelm, set some parameters for yourself and consider going internet-lite for the holidays.
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?” Give yourself permission to engage in the holidays in ways that fill your heart and soul.
I share what I recommend on how to approach the holidays with more intention in this interview with Jess Lively.
Just because everything is crazy around you, doesn’t mean everything has to be crazy within you. One quote that often reminds me of this truth is from Pema Chödrön, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Commit to just a few of these 30 simple ways to take care of yourself over the holidays. Take care of yourself. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love.
If you have a tip that may help others approach the holidays with more intention, please share in the comment section below.