Slowing Down

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

Who else can hardly believe that the holiday season has arrived? It is so exciting, yet it is almost alarming how quickly this year has passed by. I also notice that this time of year has an interesting flow. It feels as though the majority of people (including me) are hurrying up to slow down in the career aspect of things, are trying to balance calendars with event invites coming into your inbox daily, and are planning + prepping for homes full of cooking and family.

I would like to preface and say that this time of year may be my all time favorite. It seems as though the cozy days that surround the holiday celebrations are focused more on community, which only heightens the sweet reminder that the people we love are the most fulfilling priority. Yet, for fellow introverts, this can feel quite overwhelming, yet at the same time really joy-filling depending on the freedom you feel in your relationships.

So let’s get to the point, shall we? The holidays are bustling with plans and travel and people galore, but how can we continue to balance our schedule amidst all of the hoopla? The holidays should be deeply enjoyed, yet sadly so often, they are filled with strain and emotional heaviness. Circumstances aside and for those who experience this, I have hope that a change can be made.

Scroll down for some tips that I have learned and am still learning to incorporate!
1. Space out your yeses.

My husband is a full on extrovert, so I always notice a bit of stress well up in me as the holiday season approaches. Spontaneity around this time seems to steal from my rest rather than bring extra adventure to our days because it seems to happen too often for my wellbeing. Not to mention, this week I received three invites for work related events just for Thursday night. I am so thankful, but in the same breath, #sos. When making decisions, I try to be open-handed while also remembering to shamelessly prioritize my own needs first. This may sound selfish, but I always want to bring my full self to anything I say yes to.

2. Space out your yeses / part two.
For those of you who are super driven, I feel like this will hit close to home. Currently life has been so project-full on top of this blog, LSKF, and Stranded, but in the sweetest of ways. We are in the midst of creating some much needed on-the-go wipes, I am interviewing contractors to renovate our new house so I am dreaming and planning for reconstruction plans and design, and am also working and editing The Clean Sweep, a three-month subscription program and hand-help guide on how to clean up your life that will be launching in January. My close friend came to me with a new project, and although I am dying to jump right in, I had to postpone starting until the Spring. These decisions are tough, but so freeing in the end!

 

3.  For you people pleasers, it’s okay to say no.
This has been a big one for me. I have learned over the past few years that saying no is almost always well-respected from the receiver. Often the anticipation of saying no and the assumption of the response is the most nerve-racking part. Attached to most holiday seasons is the angst to make sure everyone is happy: family, besties, and your significant other. Although it is so important to care deeply for others, it is not our responsibility to hold the burden of their emotions or carry the weight of everyone’s needs. Let it go. You will feel so much freedom, and I have noticed that as you practice saying no, it only gets easier. Doing this will actually allow you to love others better day after day!

 

4. Schedule time for yourself and plan ahead.
For me, I have to block out times in my calendar for myself, such as a facial, a massage, a walk, coffee with a friend, free time to read, otherwise, I will never do it. Also, for all of you gift givers, planning ahead is key. I start making my gift list in early November and try to have all of my purchases made by the end of November. It is the most freeing feeling, gives me time to think of thoughtful presents, and it also makes such a special thing so stress free and extra meaningful.

 

So to all of you, I am wishing you the happiest and most-freedom filled holiday season. Try to make some changes this year for your own well-being. I guarantee that even if it feels hard, you will feel so rested and content in the end.

 

This post is done in collaboration with the Refined Collective- be sure to read the other posts from the wonderful ladies in this group; The Refined Woman, Jess Koehler, and Jessi Green

 

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images: felicia lasala 

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