The holiday season is upon us, and it’s okay to want to recharge throughout it all. You need it just as much as you need to be close to your family and friends.
But there are lingering work emails, social posts, and the latest news to read. Right?
Since we care deeply about living fully and putting tech in its place, we’d like to share this short encouragement.
Here are our top five tips for recharging and restoring this holiday season:
1. Have a Screenless Morning
We’re limping into the holiday season with screen-overdose.
Zapier recommends taking at least an hour off your screens in the morning (usually your smartphone). They learned this lesson by a team experiment. They had realized how much of their morning routine was wasted on their phones.
By holding off on screens for an hour, they made time for the best morning routines. The author noted the experiment had to be “intentional”:
Think about what you could gain by breaking away from your phone for at least an hour in the morning?
Enjoy that cup of Holiday Blend and your daughter’s story for 15 more minutes.
Watch Saturday morning cartoons with the fam (is that a thing still?).
Lay dormant in bed. Hibernate. Resist the world calling.
Remember, screen-attachment and hyper-busyness have been our norm this year. By starting with a screen free morning, you can set a restful and intentional tone for the day
2. Get Creative with Connecting
Though we are sick of video chats, one employer recommends some creative twists to the vanilla ZOOM, including….
Planning consistent phone calls. Pick a chill time for both parties to catch-up and share memories.
Taking “virtual walks” to get some sunshine together. Plus, movement tends to unlock conversation.
Exchange recipes over text and “cook together.” A fun twist to this would be a virtual cook-off with friends.
Whatever the creative twist is, make it something joyful and engaging.
Does it get your body moving?
Refresh vibrant relationships?
If yes, then it will help you and your family’s well-being.
But, if the holiday habit sucks you into the blackhole of social media comparison, for example, then drop it. Give yourself the space to restore this holiday.
Pull closer to authentic relationships as much as possible.
3. Invest in your Physical Health
The stack of sugar cookies and nightly hot chocolate (guilty!) would disagree.
But, your health is bigger than food anxiety. You’ve earned that warm chocolate chip cookie dipped in egg nog—go for it!
Guilt never helps anyone.
Even so, experts would argue you also deserve to take care of your body holistically.
Texas A&M’s Vital Record suggests limiting alcohol as the top item on their list. It’s a depressant and impairs your thinking. With so many driving to visit loved ones, it’s not worth over-consuming.
They also recommend you get outside, soak up the sun, and do it all with those closest to you.
So, get creative with moving and fitness during the break:
Pause Elf halfway and have an indoor snowball fight with pillows and balled-up socks. Duck, run, and slide. Each time you squat to dodge a snowball, you’re using one of the largest muscle groups in your body.
Take long walks around the block after dinners if it’s not too cold.
Find an open park nearby to fish, hike, or spot animals.
Climb stuff. Seriously. Find a nice oak tree, play set, or yard inflatable. Have at it.
This is important because we tend to be more sedentary during holiday breaks. By facing food realistically and moving your body, you’ll find a happier groove with your physical health.
4. Say “No” and be Honest about your Boundaries
Aside from food and drink, your mental health is key. Think about your main holiday stressor:
Hosting large parties?
Having to clean all the dishes?
Pleasing unkind guests or family members?
The financial weight of gifts?
To feel recharged this holiday, you will need to say “No” to some things. Before you dive into the heat of your first family gathering, reflect on your personal boundaries.
What’s not worth the stress right now?
Communicate it—if you can—to all stakeholders. Let your spouse, son, daughter, friend, distant uncle know where your line is.
Call a board meeting. Explain the low ROI on a stressed-out mama or cash-strapped grandfather. Set expectations.
Then laugh and drink egg nog.
Maybe you can’t buy gifts this year for all thirteen cousins and their kiddos. That’s okay. Give them a call and plan a small, fun gift exchange. Trade books. Plan a potluck and enjoy each other as a gift.
Find ways to share the load and to spread the love. Your loved ones want you to rest as well, so be sure to open up and express your wishes.
At the very least, you’ll feel better having stood up for your personal expectations.
Of course, there may be a challenging friend or family-member, but at the end of the day…it’s your well-being. Express your boundaries and exit the holiday hype-train for your sake.
5. Laugh—a lot
You can’t wave all stressors away, so attack them with levity.
Kids drop the entire platter of pancakes on the floor? Bust out the silverware and have a ceramic tile picnic (just wrangle the dog first).
Forgot a gift for a family gathering? It’s all good. Bag the unused lamp from their guest room (dust it off first) with leftover tissue paper. The reaction will be talked about for a decade. The nervous aunt’s comments about the turkey won’t.
Find ways to lighten-up the moment for yourself and for others. When you look back at the photos and reminisce, it’s these moments of joy you’ll remember.
For the Joy of the Season
So, as you recharge, restore, and regift this holiday season, invest in yourself and others.
The Techless team