In today’s episode, Anna looks at how to make the most of the holidays at this time of year.
Whether you’re snuggling up indoors in the northern hemisphere or enjoying the hot weather down under, this season is an important time for you and your business. No, I’m not talking about hustling away on Christmas Day and being super productive even during your days off. Instead, we’re talking about prioritising self-care, practising gratitude, and carrying out reflection on where you are and where you want to be.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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How to make the most of the holidays
Hello there, and welcome back to the podcast. Now, this episode is going out on Christmas Eve, so I’m hoping perhaps that you’re not actually listening to me live, but nonetheless when you do listen I did have a message for you that I wanted to come to you at, even this week, and it’s all around how to make the most of the holidays, as we say in America.
But the Christmas period, if you celebrate Christmas, certainly this time of year – I know I have clients down in New Zealand, Australia, and they were talking about the summer period, so whatever this period is for you – how to make the most of this. Now, it might seem really obvious, and if you’re off having a wonderful time with your friends and family then please do continue doing that, and you certainly don’t need me to tell you how to have a nice time, but I’m talking a little bit more about how to make sure that we’re really making the most of it.
And I’m not talking about hustling, and productivity, and you’ve got to have your strategy for next year. That will come in due course. Perhaps, you’ve already done it. Perhaps, you’re waiting until January, and don’t worry there’ll be lots of resources on that too, but really just now how can we reflect perhaps, enjoy, and take care of ourselves, and those are the key concepts really.
So the first thing, of course, is that all-so important self-care.
It’s a buzzword, I know, and you can talk about taking care of yourself, your wellness, your wellbeing, your physical health, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, whatever you want to call it, but I think it’s so important to take care of yourself, especially this year, and of course having a bit of time off over the Christmas period is going to be really valuable for that.
So, whether it’s just making sure you’re getting sleep, or maybe if you’re really indulging in lots of unhealthy food maybe just drinking lots of water to compensate, and focusing on making sure you’re getting those vegetables, and fruit, and whatever, and I don’t want to get into nutritionist territory here, but I think we all know really what we need, whether it’s vitamins, and minerals, and again water, for me, that’s my favourite thing to do. It’s such an easy one, and I do love water so that’s a quick win.
But whether it’s the nutrition, fresh air, exercise. Now, you might be one of these people who’s really good, and you love getting away, and doing some weights, and hit, and whatever, go for a long run is always really nice. I know I did a park run on Christmas Day a couple of years ago with my sister and her family, and in fact I want to say I didn’t do it, because I think I was pregnant maybe at the time, but they did it, and I watched them. Perhaps, that was it. It’s funny how you remember things differently, but nonetheless a park run is a possibility, going out, and so on.
However, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, like “I’m not going to do proper exercise.” At least, go for a walk.
That’s always a lovely thing, Christmas Day, Boxing Day here in the UK, families are out and about, trying their new toys, scooters, and bikes, and so on with the kids, and it’s just lovely to get the fresh air, and go for a walk, so just walking is fine. Meditation, yoga if that’s your thing, but again find your self-care I guess that’s going to be really important to you in terms of exercise, nutrition, and so on.
Now, within that bucket as well, me time. Now, it’s possible that this particular year you’ve had all too much me time in which case, by all means, subject to your restrictions in this area, because of course I am recording this during COVID in case you’re listening to this many years in the future, and you’re wondering, “What’s she talking about?” If you’re not able to see friends, and family, and so on then perhaps you’re feeling a bit isolated, and you’re having too much me time. However, generally this time of year we do get thrown into lots of obligations of dinners, and family get-togethers, and so on, and lots of driving up and down the country.
So, if that is the case, try to set some boundaries. Try not to over commit I suppose, and for me certainly I really love having a little bit of me time, whether it’s reading a book, have a bath, just to get away a little bit, again, maybe for a walk by yourself, and having some time to yourself I think is really important. And then, by the way, what about a digital detox? So again, hopefully you’re not listening to this live, and if you are then I’m really grateful that you are, so please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve certainly taken a step back over the next couple of weeks.
A lot of this content that I’m putting out of course is prerecorded, so I’m not sitting here on Christmas Eve coming at you live of course, but I’ve really dialled back my social pace. As well, again, they’re all pre-created, and pre-scheduled, and so on, but I’m not doing my two posts a day on Instagram, and Lives all the time, and LinkedIn, and so on, and my team as well, my freelancer who helps me with that. I’ve asked her to of course take her foot off the pedal a little bit just for the next couple of weeks, because we want time off, we need time off, and so do you.
So, consider stepping back a little bit from digital. I know, again, when we’re talking “me time” and away from the family then perhaps getting on your phone, and having that quiet time, is our go-to, but I think maybe a book, or maybe again a bath, or play a board game. We’ve always been really good at playing board games, at least once a year at Christmas, in our family. I loved that when I was younger, and I’m sure the kids in your family will enjoy that too.
So, digital detox, really important. And perhaps, if you’re at home, and especially if you’re by yourself maybe some physical decluttering as well.
I feel so good when I throw away piles of paper that I thought I would need, that I obviously don’t. Go through some old clothes and things. It’s just such a nice time of year I think just to get rid of some stuff, and have a bit more space physically and mentally as well. So, that’s the first bucket really, self-care.
Now, the second one is gratitude, and again, maybe it’s one of those buzzwords.
I know it’s something that so many gurus and coaches talk about, and it’s in all these planners, and at the end of the day you’re supposed to say three things you’re grateful for, and all these things, but there’s a reason for that. I’m sure there are lots of studies showing why that’s important, and especially, again, in a year like this I think we can look back and give ourselves a hard time, and feel frustrated, and there’s this element of acceptance, recognising it’s been potentially pretty awful depending on our situation personally, but certainly for the world as a whole it hasn’t perhaps been the best year.
And it’s so easy to caught up in that, and to give ourselves a hard time. I’ve got so many people in my Facebook group, for example, they had all these ambitions. I was going to do this course, and this passive income thing, and I was going to join your workshop, and your programme. I just hadn’t been able to because they’ve been homeschooling, or moving, or things probably even independent of COVID.
If you’ve had a tough year try to focus on the present right now, so maybe don’t obsess too much about what’s happened. Maybe have a bit of closure, draw a line. Maybe don’t even get too caught up in your plans for next year, and setting yourself ambitious targets, and assuming that 2021 is somehow going to be this miraculous magical year, and everything is resolved, because that’s probably not the case either.
Give yourself some grace, be compassionate with yourself, and recognise things that you are really grateful for. I’m really grateful for this time now with my family, or maybe even this time alone. I’m grateful that I have my health. I’m grateful that I still have an income, if that’s the case. I’m grateful that I have this business that I’m working on. I’m grateful for my coach. I’m grateful for my partner. I’m grateful for my parents. Whatever it is, but really think about what you are grateful for, what do you have, and again be present and focus on deep breaths and all that self-care that we just talked about, and really being in the moment, and enjoying this special time however limited, and however bizarre, and strange it might be this year.
So, really letting go of a potentially difficult year, accepting it, drawing a line, maybe creating some closure, and then looking ahead to the next year, but let’s be grateful for what we do have, and what we have been able to do this year. I’m sure we can all find some little nugget, some little glimmer of hope within a possibly very difficult situation.
And then, finally reflection. If you do have the energy for this I always feel that reflecting on where you are, where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved, what you haven’t achieved, looking ahead to the next year, setting your intention, setting new goals, what is your vision for the New Year, what are you going to do differently, what help do you need, and so on. These are things that come so beautifully organically when we’ve got some time away from the day-to-day hustle of the Monday through Friday routine, of course, in a corporate job or even running a business.
But constantly caught up, and I’ve got to post on Facebook and Instagram, and I’ve got to send my invoice for this, and I’ve got to reply to that client. I need to do my leads, and whatever else, but really actually when we have a little bit of time away maybe we’re not manically checking our emails, and sending invoices, and delivering client deadlines. Maybe our clients in fact are off too, hopefully. Maybe we have a bit downtime, so those of you how are in New Zealand, Australia, the Southern Hemisphere, with summer holidays now, if it is the case that there is less work available, and your clients are off, and so on, then take advantage of this downtime.
Now, I did an episode quite a while back when COVID stated on how to make the most of downtime in your business, so by all means have a listen for that one as well, in terms of some of the behind-the-scenes, decluttering, things that don’t usually get prioritised in the business as well, so that’s actually a good opportunity. But again, reflection, and we’ve been looking the last couple of weeks, and we’ll continue to look at this big vision for the New Year for your future. What is the dream? What if it all works out? What’s the big picture of what you want from your business and your life?
We’ll be getting more specific in the coming weeks as well, and in the New Year with a workshop on planning for the whole year for 2021 now, and beyond, and vision boarding, and coming up with your one word, and all these things, so there will be specific exercises that I’ll help you do, and of course I have my programmes that you can join one-to-one, or group coaching programmes.
But in the meantime, again, it’s in the space, it’s in the silence hopefully if there is silence, and it’s in the time away.
It’s in the bath. It’s on the move when you’re going for a walk. It’s having chats with random, I don’t know, grandparents, and cousins, and people, and who knows what else will come to the fore, so really enjoy this time. And again, if you do have the capacity. I’m not saying go now, get that whiteboard that I’ve got over here, and your pen, and you’re going to draw your vision and your strategy. If you have time for that, by all means, and that’s great, and again, I’d love to help you do that, but in the meantime just listen, and feel, and sense intuitively maybe what comes up for you.
Often when we’re away, again, I’ve had a few clients recently in the programmes that I’m working with taking some time off, and they’ve come back and realised actually the misalignment with what they were doing before, and it’s easy to get into that comfort zone of course that I’m always talking about, and not realise how uncomfortable, how misaligned, that is with your values, and the life you want to lead. And of course, going away, whether it’s for a week, a weekend, whatever, just getting away from that is going to open your eyes to that, and you’ll come back and you’ll realise, “Hang on, this is really uncomfortable now. This is not what I want to do.”
And as uncomfortable as that is, it’s important to hang on to that feeling and remind ourselves, okay, this is not what we really want. This is what we want over here, and yes, it’s going to take time, but I’m going to work in that direction. It’s just a good reminder of what we really want. So, those are the three buckets I want you to think about if you have time, if you feel like it, if you want to. Self-care, gratitude, and reflection, so those are some of my ideas as to how you might make the most of the holidays.
But of course, most of all do what you want to do, enjoy this time. It’s so rare now, especially again this year, that we have this time to enjoy, and I think this is the kind of time when society gives us permission to have some time off for once, so make the most of that. Good luck with spending time with your friends, and family, and so on if you are hopefully able to do so. Enjoy the me time, try to digital detox, reflect, see what comes up, and so on.
Above all, of course, I want to say have a wonderful time with your loved ones, hopefully. Thank you so much for listening. There’s one more episode next week before we close out 2020, and it’ll be another light one, so nothing too drastic. It will be on New Year’s Eve I believe, so definitely I don’t expect you necessarily to be listening to that one live either, but hopefully again you’re enjoying the time anyway, and I look forward to sharing the next year, and beyond, with you as well.
Thanks so much for listening. Have a wonderful time with whoever you’re with. Enjoy, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you very soon. Bye for now.
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