Making Room for the Holidays

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A time meant for joy, happiness and love, the holidays can often be overshadowed by one, big thing — STRESS. While you should be spending these special few weeks in the company of those who you care for most, trying to please others while balancing seasonal expectations can leave you frazzled and frustrated. Let us help you sort through the chaos to find peace this holiday season with our tips to balance your life and home, one small step at a time.

It All Begins With You

Yes, the holidays are a time for giving. And in most cases, the emphasis is heavily on giving to others. But how can you offer your best if you feel like you are running on empty? Our first step to holiday happiness involves taking care of yourself first. Ensure your health and happiness by stepping back and taking your primary needs into consideration.

Avoid Overbooking.

The holidays are a great time to employ the most powerful tool in your mindfulness arsenal — the ability to say no. Gracefully decline parties you can’t enthusiastically accept, pass on participating in events where you feel the heavy lifting will be too much of a burden, and prioritize the things that really bring joy to your life. By committing only to events where you feel you can really be present, you ensure that yourself and those around you are receiving the best self you can offer.

Gifting Yourself.

Another great incentive for mindful self-care is to give yourself a gift. Keep in mind that gifts don’t necessarily need to be large or even tangible; they come in many forms. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step back and gift yourself the time to breathe. Take a yoga class, book a massage or meditate during a nature walk. Break away from whatever project you’re focused on and take a minute for yourself.

 

Brown paper package wrapped in string

Rallying the Troops.

If you feel like you need help, ask for it! Have that party catered, bring in a house cleaner or enlist a professional to take on the tasks you need completed. Successfully cruising through the holidays doesn’t mean you have to do it all, it just means you have to delegate. Getting people involved is all part of the sharing holiday spirit.

By going into the melee with the mindset that your happiness is as important as your family and friends, you can ensure you don’t overstretch yourself and sacrifice your bliss in the process. This way, everyone wins.

A Home for the Holidays

When guests are coming, it can be tempting to strive for perfection. Whether that means completing the final parts of your home renovation, putting up all the holiday decorations or ensuring your abode is magazine ready, these expectations can quickly get out of hand. Less is more is a key mantra for readying your residence this holiday season.

Prioritize Projects.

When it comes to unfinished projects, finding time to decide which is most important is integral. By determining if any of these projects may affect your holiday plans, or guests that you intend to host, you can map out the timeline in which they need to be completed based on real-time necessity. Painting a room can often wait, but ensuring your guestroom renovation is complete can make vacationing travelers feel infinitely more welcomed. Only take on projects that are essential and will have a real impact on you and others.

String of lights along the roof of a house

Décor Limited.

Instead of decorating every room of your home, decide which areas are most important and work on those. Hang garlands in the entryway, light candles in the kitchen and decorate only areas you feel guests will gather. Be conscious when you festoon your space by displaying only the things that bring you a deep sense of happiness and joy.

Clear the Clutter.

Even though spring is typically considered the time for clearing out unwanted items, get a jump start by tackling the task now. Purge out any unnecessary clutter and donate items that no longer fit your space or lifestyle. With minimalism in mind, this is a great time to go through your house including holiday décor to decide which items you would like to keep and which might be better off discarded or donated. Always remember, your excess may be the perfect gift for someone in need.

A clean slate, minimal clutter and warm ambiance will make any house feel like a home. And if you don’t get around to completing all your projects or have what appears to be the perfect holiday décor, let yourself off the hook. Afterall, it’s the time you spend with others that matters most. Which leads us to…

The Greatest Gift of All

Now that you and your home are in order, it will be much easier to organize your thoughts to see how you can be there for others.

Welcome Guests.

For out of town guests, clean linens, a comfortable room, and easy access to the Wi-Fi password can instantly make someone feel more at ease. Stocking a selection of familiar foods, coffee or tea can help visitors feel that they are not tip-toeing around your home. These little things make all the difference in creating a wonderful stay.

Acts of Kindness.

Set spending limits on gifts, convey clear expectations and do your best to help where you can. For family and friends that may be suffering under the added pressure of the holidays, sincerely extend an offer of assistance. Consider how these small acts of kindness go a long way during the holidays.

Time is of the Essence.

Looking wider, go out into the community and volunteer. If you’ve already donated food, clothing or other items, give your time. There are few things more valuable than an extra pair of hands, so see what kind of local events are happening in your area and participate based on your availability.

Taking the time to care for yourself and others during this holiday season is so important. Don’t let it get lost in the rush to fill expectations and please everyone. Sometimes it’s best to bring the focus onto what really matters; which is spending time with you and the ones you care about most. Whether that means planning a spa day for you, getting together for a traditional celebration or escaping to a seasonal destination, do what feels right for you! And remember, the perfect holiday present is being present. And we hope this helps you along the way.

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Happy Holidays from Carlisle!
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