Nothing says welcome home for the holidays quite like the aroma of fresh baked cookies. This was my thought as I prepared cookies last night in preparation for our son and his wife as they traveled home for the holidays. Now that our student applications are tucked in tight, our attention shifts. It is that time of year where we embrace the yuletide spirit by trying to do all things for everyone, every day. I never feel the weight of all the hats I wear, more than this time of year: counselor, employer, mother, friend, teacher, sister, spouse, and most of all, grandmother.
It is important to understand how to keep balance during this holiday season. Our professional lives and personal lives often collide, vying for limited attention. Using SANTA as an acronym, I have created a list I can check twice to pace myself during this season, and to be sure I am staying focused on the deeper meaning of the Christmas celebrations, rather than all the outside trappings. Use SANTA to remind yourself:
- Simplify it. Decorations and other celebrations don’t need to be perfect or elaborate. Pick 3 things you can do without doing this year and still keep the spirit bright.
- Ask for help. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Enlist the help of children, friends, co-workers, and family in holiday preparation or activities. Let go of the perfection complex and just enjoy the result. Baking cookies with children can be magical.
- Number the commitments. Be thoughtful as you make commitments during this season. Pacing yourself is key to finding balance this season.
- Take time. Take time to enjoy the season. Sometimes we get so engulfed in the process, we forget to enjoy the moment. Set a goal each day to find one moment to be still and let the spirit of the season speak to you.
- Add meaning through service. Find one way you can give service each day. Calling a friend on the phone, dropping coins in a parking meter, bringing a cookie for a colleague, nothing speaks louder than a simple act of kindness, given from the heart.
Keep SANTA in mind and you will find the season will bring to you joy and good will, not exhaustion! Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year from the MyCCA and GuidedPath family to yours!