†The holidays are such a fun time, but it can be hard to find balance in the business and make sure you’re taking care of yourself. There’s nothing worse than heading into the new year completely exhausted! For those of you that missed this morning’s CTV Winnipeg segment, I wanted to share my 5 tips for maintaining balance on the blog! Sometimes it can be hard to take my own advice, but here’s hoping I can follow it as we head into the holiday madness!
Keeping an organized schedule is key heading into this oh-so busy time. I swear by my calendar app and put EVERYTHING in it – even downtime. I like to schedule downtime as if it were an appointment. Think of it as a therapy session with yourself. One of my favourite ways to use this time is by setting up a candlelit meditation or mindfulness practice. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes at the start of your day. I’ve been loving the Canvas Candle Co soy candles. They use essential oils which really helps me relax into my mediation. Also, be aware of your energy and treat yourself to a candlelit bath, or time-out to read a book if you’re feeling drained. While I love socializing, it’s so important to allow myself time to recharge and occasionally that means having to say no to that extra holiday dinner party or Christmas cocktail.
For me, planning alleviates a lot of stress. Knowing that I have everything in order gives me a sense of calm and confidence, especially before hosting. Services like Chefs Plate take care of so much of the planning for you, cutting down on time spent grocery shopping, menu planning, and meal prepping. Not to mention it totally takes the guesswork out of portioning! This means streamlining the dinnertime process so that you can spend more time entertaining and socializing with your guests.
Journaling for at least 5 minutes a day really helps me to reflect on what I’m grateful for. I try to practice gratitude every day – not just during the holidays (although I find it especially rewarding during this time of year when everybody’s spirits are so bright!). Being intentional with your time and creating space for appreciating what you have makes a world of difference and you’ll start to reap the benefits of practicing this almost immediately. I found it changed my entire outlook and allowed me to be grateful for the time I DO have instead of constantly being stressed about the time I don’t.
Have Strong Boundaries Around Device Use
Learning to unplug has been a huge challenge for me. While it’s seemingly such an easy concept, all of those Instagram check-ups and quick text message replies really do add up. Having strong boundaries around devise use during the holidays creates extra time here and there to connect IRL and truly relax. The biggest one for me has been limiting my device use in the mornings and not reaching for my phone first thing. Limiting device use in the morning has been proven to lower stress and positively impact mental health – it’s all about baby steps!
Don’t allow yourself to check emails or make work-related phone calls when you should be enjoying a relaxing evening and focusing on the person across from you (and the glass of wine in your hand). At my house we practice no phones at the dinner table! When the day is done, leave your work in the office. Having adequate time to embrace face-to-face moments over the holidays is sure to help you feel more balanced!
Create a Haven for Yourself
Having a space that’s conducive to relaxation is key. When you DO get the chance to unplug, curl up with a book and light the fire, it’s important to feel like your space is a haven where you can unwind. It also makes inviting people into your home to share quality time that much more exciting. One thing that makes my home feel full and brings me joy (taking a note from Marie Kondo) is having fresh florals around. The beautiful blush-toned arrangements in my segment were from Academy Florists in Winnipeg and I can’t wait to recreate them in my own space.
Incorporating hints of nature has always been really important to me in feeling at home – whether it’s flowers and greenery from the garden or scents that re-connect me to the outdoors. I love diffusing essential oil blends that marry seasonality and nature. Right now, I have the Deep Forest blend from Saje Wellness on repeat in my diffuser. Experiencing the aroma of essential oils triggers a shift in our bodies and minds that allows us to breathe a little deeper and just slow down. With Douglas Fir and Hemlock at the forefront of this blend, it feels like you’ve just taken a walk in the great outdoors and I’m loving it!
Whether it’s as simple as putting your phone away at dinner, or taking time to light a candle and enjoy a bath, it can be difficult to see the value in prioritizing ourselves over the holidays. I get so wrapped up in gifting, seeing family and friends, and being the perfect mom that sometimes I forget I have my own personal needs too! These are the things I’ve found helpful and been able to turn to when life just gets a little too hectic, and hopefully you can make the time to incorporate them into your holiday schedule too! I promise it will make all the difference. See Pierce knows! haha
Let me know if you have any other great tips for staying sane over the holidays!! I’d love to hear.
Photography by Warin Marie Photography