This may come as a surprise to some, but Nick and I are both introverts. Admittedly, Nick is more introverted than myself but we both would much rather spend time just the two of us than with literally anyone (sorry friends and family we still love you! lol).
Holidays that begin pretty much at Halloween and continue for the rest of the year, can be overwhelming if you’re anything like us. Not to mention we both have families that all expect to see us for each Holiday (minus Halloween and maybe New Year)and friends that want to spend time with us too. Either way, it’s a huge blessing to be so close to family and friends, but it can truly be more exhausting if you don’t manage your time correctly.
Luckily I’ve spent about 5 years now perfecting the art of making time for everyone and even with the last couple of years adding Nick’s family and friends into the mix, I think we’ve figured out a pretty good plan to stick to until children come along and change everything.
I think the most obvious tip here is to consolidate friends and family gatherings. We luckily have pretty much the same groups of friends and that makes it easy to knock out seeing everyone at one gathering instead of having to go several places. Making sure that you group together all the friends that know each other makes it comfortable for everyone as well and probably more enjoyable in general.
Same goes for family members! If you can find ways to see more family members in one place, DO IT! This also just makes the Holiday’s more enjoyable anyway, when you can see all the family members you haven’t seen since last year.
No, is a complete sentence
This is my mantra going into 2021. I have felt the need to give excuses for not wanting to do something basically my entire life. I’ve also worked equally as hard at surrounding myself with people who understand that my “no” doesn’t mean it’s personal or that I don’t love them or want to spend time with them. My “no” simply means “not this time”.
You do need to be careful using no, because obviously you can hurt someone’s feelings if it’s something really special to them or if you use it too often. However, make sure you check in with how you feel when you say No to someone. Do they have a tendency to try and emotionally manipulate you into feeling bad? If so, have a conversation. I’ve had to explain to friends and family over the years that I’m not saying “no” to be mean, it’s just that I simply don’t have the capacity to do everything all the time. Those conversations have always gone really well and I’m sure they will for you too.
The Holidays are special times and my feeling is that you probably won’t say no very much, but make sure that you’re only doing what you have the capacity to do. If you’re not able to make it to a party because you need some rest, or some down time….don’t feel bad for that. People that love you should understand when rest is a priority.
Another tip is to prioritize. There’s been a couple of years that I just had to show up late to something because my family was having an overlapping event. Other times I’ve had to reschedule all together. Either way, make sure you’re keeping what matters the most to YOU at the forefront of your Holiday plans. My guess is that most of us prioritize family over friends, but if you’re someone who isn’t close to your family, no shame in your game! The key here is to make sure you’re not over doing it and trying to squeeze in too many things at the same time.
Write it down
One of the biggest culprits to not being able to see everyone around the Holiday’s is because we don’t put an invite in our calendar. Especially for those of you who visit from out of town for the Holiday’s, I know it’s hard to make time to see everyone and do everything in a short amount of time. Insert, WRITING IT DOWN!! A huge phenomenon I know HA!
But seriously, it’s so important to keep invitations written wherever works best for you. For me personally it’s multiple places. I have my phone calendar loaded with events as well as my personal hand written planner. This also makes it easier for me not to leave someone hanging and I can instantly look either place to see if we already have plans at the same time or if it would be too many events in one day.
That’s all I’ve got friends! I know that COVID has probably affected most of our normal plans and we likely don’t have as many parties to attend, but I have been so overwhelmed for the longest time and I felt like it was important to share this either way.
Ultimately just be true to yourself and never feel bad for needing some time for yourself, even during the Holiday season. Praying that you have an amazing Holiday season this year and that you have the most joy filled experience.