The “What do YOU do?” series gives you a glimpse into my life as a cluttered, creative person — and invites you to share your organizing insights and ideas.
As someone with both ADD and anxiety, the holidays press all my buttons. Even if you don’t have any conditions like this, it doesn’t stop the holidays from getting a little nuts. I’d like to share a few things I’m doing differently this year, both in my work and in my life. Maybe you would, too!
1. Filling up my heart-well
Because I tend to end up depleted this time of year, I decided to try filling the well of my heart in advance of overwhelm.
Before I start my day, I’ve been taking an hour to read inspirational writings and journal about them. This practice feels so grounding to me. The deep nourishment I experience doing this practice gives me energy to better manage my reactions when troublesome issues arise.
2. Sharing my plans
If you’re planning to take time off, or are feeling frazzled and just not yourself, consider sharing your plans with those impacted by your physical or energetic absence.
Frontloading is a term I use for giving advance notice to anyone who’s impacted by your absence. This allows you to discuss anything they might need and establishes clear boundaries in an open, respectful and loving way.
Want to see frontloading in action? I’m letting you know that I’ll be on retreat from December 11 through January 3. I plan to be incommunicado (no email or phone) the whole time. You’re welcome to email me during that time, I just won’t reply until January. Read below for details on what I’m doing with 3 whole weeks.
If you need anything from me before then, do let me know. I want for you to feel supported!
3. Designating a big chunk of planning time
I am so excited about the upcoming year at Inspired Home Office! There are so many exciting things that will be happening! Nothing is going away, you’ll just find more to choose from to support your organizing and business goals.
To make space for all this new stuff, roughly 10 of my retreat days will be devoted to deep reflection about Inspired Home Office and planning logistics for next year. I’ve decided this activity doesn’t technically count as work (it’s so fun!). I’ve never taken this much time before, so I’m really excited.
4. Simplifying our Christmas plans
Although most of my family members are lapsed Catholics, the urge to celebrate Christmas lives on. It might be in our veins. Or as someone said in Office Spa Day today, “It’s in the air.” My Jewish and Pagan friends laugh lovingly at how even they receive presents for Christmas. It can get a little crazy.
Inspired Spouse and I agreed on a focus word for this year’s festivities: SANE. We’re doing just 3 social engagements, and saying no to everything else. We’re even skipping the holiday party at Inspired Spouse’s work. I’m also sticking to my short list of gift purchases. Our day-of guest list is tiny. I’m testing the boundaries of my comfort zone and I’m ordering Christmas dinner pre-made from our local deli.
Having SANE as our focus word is SO helpful. I think I can do it. If I slip up, I might recall that classic Seinfeld episode where Kramer says “Sanity NOW!” repeatedly.
What I’m working on
Noticing my wildly vivid imagination
My growing edge (besides ordering the deli’s turkey dinner) is recognizing when my creative thinking gets away from me.
Just an example:
The simple thought, “I want to thank so-and-so before the end of the year” can turn into “I should create custom holiday stationery with my logo and send a hand-written note to every person I know both online and in person in the next week — oh! and include an inspiring quote hand-picked for each recipient.” (falls over)
The funny thing? When I think this stuff to myself, I’m crazy-excited! I really really really believe I can do it!
These flashes of brilliance eclipse my rational thinking. While it’s happening, I even believe that I’m thinking rationally. At the moment, the only filter is I have is to get myself half-way through the project, hate myself for taking on so much, and give up feeling defeated.
I’m learning that sometimes it’s enough to just let the idea come up. I can get excited about it, with full knowledge that it’s out of alignment with my SANE intention. Creativity is a blast, but it doesn’t mean I have to do everything I think up.
What do YOU do to stave off the holiday crazies?
Your turn! Please share what you’re doing that helps you – and something that you’re working on with.
Your comments on your own process are welcome. Just remember to give advice only when it’s specifically requested. This makes exploring safe and learning possible for every reader.