I’ve decided to take the traditional British fortnight off work at Christmas and am already looking forward to two weeks of lovely downtime. It will be a staycation and I haven’t had a proper holiday since Christmas 2010 so I need to make sure I use the time wisely to re-charge my batteries and rest.
Like many of my clients I am tired at the end of a long busy year. And we’ve all been talking about what we’ll do when we get some downtime.
What most of us are talking about is doing some more work (!) and multi-tasking (!!). STOP IT IMMEDIATELY.
The best way to use the Christmas time off is to have a proper break, to rest, recuperate and break the bad habits we’ve acquired including too much time at the laptop, wired and connected 24/7. This isn’t a time when we need to be achieving. If you feel you are overdue a holiday or that you’ve earned one, take it. Give yourself entirely over to friends and family or even just yourself. Luxuriate in not working for a change.
It’s very tempting to use the free time to catch up – with accounts and other types of job which have been accumulating while we’ve been so busy. They’ll wait.
I definitely think it’s a time for reviewing 2014 and planning ahead. Try Jinny Ditzler’s book Your Best Year Yet or Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015.
It’s also time for some leisure – getting out and about in the wintry sunshine and walking or doing whatever it is that you love by way of outdoor physical activity.
For me I will be getting some juicing days under my belt so that the detox doesn’t have to start hard on 1st January.
I will be reading and going to the movies. And sleeping.
And I will be making sure that I have all the things in place so that I don’t end up with any of these, the top 5 regrets of the dying:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
- I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
- I wish I’d let myself be happier
What will you choose to do during the holidays to address some or all of those regrets so that they do not become yours?
If your life were courageous and happier, if you worked less and expressed your feelings more, if you went out and played with friends, what would have to change?
Allowing yourself to take time out provides the opportunity to get back in touch with what’s really important to you. There’s plenty of time to work in 2015. There’s always enough time for us to have a wonderful life too. Now.
Let’s agree that what we’ll do is get a life, by getting our health and happiness re-prioritised and back where it belongs, in pole position. Let the work wait.
What would a wise woman do at Christmas?