The holidays can be overwhelming and chaotic, especially for us introverts out there. Our Passion Planners are filled to the brim with errands and events, and our gift lists seem never ending. Buried in activities and tasks, our energy levels dwindle to a sliver; we are hanging by a thread to remain productive at work and be engaged in the presence of friends and family.
Admittedly, I am in the exact same boat. My mind has been swept up into a whirlwind, a flurry of action items and unprocessed emotions. Despite it being my favorite time of the year, I have been struggling to savor it due to overextending myself.
Here are 5 items I am practicing to recharge this season.
1. Identify what needs recharging.
Figuring out what specifically needs recharging is half the battle. True story, it took me a month. As an introvert, my natural inclination is to spend time by myself to refresh. I took a break from social functions and became a hermit for weeks, but didn’t feel any better. I was confused. This is usually what I need. As it turns out, I was exacerbating my exhaustion with isolation. (There’s a massive difference between isolation and solitude, but that’s another article.)
It was not my introversion that required attention, but my need for connection.
I was processing my first holiday season away from my hometown. While I knew I was going to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas day with my family, the entire season was celebrated in my childhood home: my dad cooking blueberry pancakes while listening to the Moana soundtrack, my mom and I sitting on the couch with a blanket pulled over us watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, and my friends living within a 10 mile radius for any impromptu holiday outings.
Your needs during the holidays may differ from what is typical. What are you needing to recharge?
2. Establish your own traditions.
Ask yourself this: if you could rewrite Julie Andrews’ classic “Favorite Things,” what would you include? The best way for me to stay present during the holidays is to create a bucket list of my own traditions and “favorite things” so to speak, curated for my specific desires and enjoyment. I have mine in my dotted pages, which is an excellent space to experiment with more holiday layouts. Here are a few items on my “Holly Jolly Holiday Menu” that give me those warm, fuzzy feelings:
- - Smell all the seasonal candles at Bath and Body Works
- - Sip on some Hot Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- - Eat a pint of Jeni’s White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream
- - Listen to as many Christmas albums and Spotify holiday playlists as I can
Create your own joy this Christmas with traditions that nourish your soul. My energy elevates whenever I carve out time for an item on my Holly Jolly bucket list.
What does making merry look like for you this season?
3. Plan for a retreat or vacation.
Depending on your profession or lifestyle, the end of the year may be your busiest season, making it impossible to schedule time off long enough for recharging. (If you are in retail, we feel your pain!) The Passion Planner office has been hustling and bustling to get everyone their happy mail in time for the New Year, and without a doubt, many of us will be dashing off for vacation and time away when the craziness subsides.
Vacations and retreats do not have to break the bank.
Staycations are just as refreshing, and a much better alternative to exhausting trips that leave you in need of a vacation from the vacation. If you have a spiritual or faith practice, there are plenty of centers that host retreats, especially in the New Year. It is the perfect getaway to slow down and allow the stress of the season to dissolve.
Although you may not be able to take time off now, you can certainly reward yourself for a job well done once things slow down.
4. Open yourself to receiving.
The quickest way to arrive at burnout is to give beyond your capacity, whether that be time, money, or energy. Some people fear the prospect of receiving because they believe that makes them a selfish person. I find myself in that camp every time someone offers to help me, or gives me an unexpected gift.
My initial move to San Diego is one example. The transition was incredibly hard on me financially, so much so that I would stretch out leftovers from my family for as long as I could, and restrict any other meals to snacks offered in the office. I experienced so much shame around my situation that I never asked anybody for anything.
Because I didn’t know anyone in the area, I spent most of my evenings and weekends with my boyfriend’s family. Though I never told them about my struggle explicitly, they always had containers of food ready for me to take home at each of my visits. I was sent home with a whole coconut cake, salmon, asparagus, fruits, and noodles. They made my transition far more comfortable than I could have ever imagined.
This is what I am learning: when I acknowledge my lack and insufficiency, I recognize the gifts of others to fill and provide for that scarcity.
It is true, nobody can make you whole but you, but by making yourself vulnerable, you in turn connect with the wholeness of somebody else.
If you are swamped with tasks and somebody offers to take on a responsibility for you, say yes. If you are going through a hard time and a friend extends a listening ear, say yes. You are not being selfish; you are simply experiencing the gift of another person’s generosity.
5. Get a head start on your 2020 Passion Planner.
Can you believe that the new decade is just one week away? While the holidays can be a celebratory time for many people, it is not for all, especially those who are struggling with loved ones away from home. Whenever I was navigating a challenging chapter of my life, I always turned to my Passion Planner.
It would ask, “If you could be, do, or have anything, what would your life look like?”
2019 was a transitional year for me, with painful growth and forging a new path. I see 2020 as a year of promise, where I will finally be able to settle into myself. I can focus on thriving versus surviving. I can’t tell you how ready I am for 2020 to begin.
No matter where you are in your journey, I am hopeful that the life you seek to create with your Passion Planner will come to fruition. Share your Passion RoadMap with us on Instagram, and keep us posted on your growth throughout the year. We love seeing our #PashFam progress towards their goals.
The whole team at Passion Planner is wishing you a holiday full of love and recharging. Let us know in the comments how you plan to spend the final week of 2019!
Paula Votendahl is a Content Marketing Specialist with Passion Planner. In her free time she enjoys Passion Planning, eating Hot Cheetos, and watching British period dramas.