As we near the end of another year, this time can get really busy. We are trying to wrap up work, juggling kids and the start of school holidays, lots of Christmas parties and family get togethers, shopping lists and to do lists a mile long. This time of year can feel really stressful and busy. When the busyness of the season takes over, we spiral into a state of total overwhelm and we push ourselves to our limits trying to get everything done before the year comes to an end. It’s like there is this magic finish line that we need to reach and we just have to get “all the things done” before then. 

I used to feel this way too until a couple of year ago and I decided to see out the end of the year differently. I found  that the more stressed I got at the end of the year, the less things I got done that were actually meaningful and important to me. So I decided to slow down in the last couple of weeks of the year instead and the more I slowed down, the more I was able to enjoy the magic of this season. 

 So here are 5 ways you can thrive through to the end of the year. 

1.  Make You The Priority

I am a big advocate for self love and reminding women to make themselves the priority. It might feel strange to put your needs first because you’re used to putting everyone’s needs before your own, but I promise you it doesn’t need to be time consuming. Especially at this time of year, it’s so important to avoid getting irritable, resentful, angry and frustrated. Find something that calms your mind and meets your needs. For me that’s first thing in the morning, I sit up in bed and put one hand on my heart and one hand on my tummy and I take 10 long intentionally deep breaths in. It helps me connect to my breath and my body and gives me time to set an intention and feel gratitude for the day ahead. 

I also like to check in with myself throughout the day by asking myself how I’m feeling. I like to call these check ins energetic resets. It helps me release any tension I may be carrying and ensures I don’t get to the end of the day frazzled and exhausted. My energetic resets including a few deep breaths as I transition to different things throughout the day, a cup of tea in my favourite chair, standing barefoot on the grass or a couple of yoga poses in my lounge room. It only needs to take a few minutes and ensures my energy stays high vibe throughout the day. 

2.  Get Good at Saying “No”

If you are one for saying “yes” to everything then now is the time to embrace a different way, because saying “yes” to everything, especially at this time of year, will leave you feeling stressed and anxious and wondering why there’s no time left for you.

You don’t need to say yes to everything, you don’t need to attend every event or say yes to every request for help.  You don’t need to be a super woman and do “all the things”. It is OK to say “no thank you” as well.

 3. Delete Half Your To Do List

This is in line with saying no, but more about taking the pressure off yourself to get everything ticked off your to do list.  If you’re anything like me, I love lists and I love nothing more then ticking things off that list. It can be easy to write down a massive list of everything we want to get done before the end of the year and think we can achieve it… and we probably can… but at what cost?

It is great to push ourselves and strive for perfectionism (recovering perfectionist here), just make sure you’re not creating an unachievable list that will burn you out or send you into a spiral of stress and overwhelm. 

Delete things from your list that are just not that important or you can delegate to someone else, and don’t weigh yourself down with massive responsibility to get everything done.  Recognise what is truly important to you and what really needs to get done and delete the rest.

 4.  Resist The Urge To Splurge

This time of year is notorious for overindulging in everything. When it comes to presents, I have chosen a minimalist approach. My kids will be getting a few presents each – something to wear, something they need and something they want. My husband and I have chosen not to give physical presents but rather we’re gifting ourselves a couple of experiences next year.  I also like to take the minimliast approach to food and drinks. My health has been at the top of my priority list the last few months after recovering from my cancer diagnosis so I am a lot more intentional with what I’m putting in my mouth these days. Start to think about where you can make some simple and healthy alternatives to try and balance out the festive food and drinks.

5. Create Meaningful Connections  

If there is one thing we have been reminded of this year, it’s how important connections are. Many of us have been separated from family for many months or even years, so if you’re fortunate to be reunited with family this season, make this time and the people you share it with really count. Be present in your conversations, be mindful and cherish this special time. Christmas can be a testing time with families as well, so although the connections are special, be clear on your boundaries and your needs during this time and communicate these with your loved ones.