RSVP No to the Holiday Gong Show

Happy December.

I don’t know about you, but I felt tired before the holidays even started.

I’m coming off a few demanding months of work and social outings, and so it’s got me thinking about the kind of end to 2018 that I (and you, I imagine) want to have.

The gist: I’m RSVP-ing no to the holiday gong show.

That’s right—no holiday parties or cocktail hours for me. I’m planting myself at home to rest and recharge.

Here are three ways you can join me:

Manage your expectations.

What are some things that can just be good enough? Us high-achievers tend to shoot for the stars during the holidays, trying to be everywhere, decorate everything, and spoil everyone. Recoup some energy by lowering your expectations.

Perhaps you go with store-bought cookies for the kids’ holiday parties this year. Or maybe your second cousin would be relieved if you didn’t buy her a gift (because she felt pressured to return the favor anyway). Look for areas with some leeway—and take advantage.

Maintain healthy habits.  

The demands of the season tend to edge out some of our healthier habits, leaving us tired and vulnerable to sickness. I’m combating this by suggesting coffee dates over post-dinner drinks, recommitting to my workouts, and simply saying no more often.

Focus on how you want to feel.

Choose joy, wonder, and amazement over schedules, stress, and depletion. Decide how you’d like to feel at the end of the year, and then put a plan in place to make it happen.

If you know me, you know that means I’ll be sitting by my tree as much as possible. Tree time grounds and rejuvenates me during the holidays, so I’ll make sure to have plenty of it.

And I’m not alone. I recently received a note from a woman who proudly said no to five neighborhood holiday parties this month. “I need to save my energy for the things that are actually important in life, and holiday parties fall very low on my list.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

You don’t have to run yourself ragged to fully participate in the holidays. Find ways to make it work for you.

If you need me, I’ll be by my tree.

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