3 Ways to Actually Rest Over the Holidays

The Holidays Are Here Again! Are you looking forward to the holiday season? For many, the end of the year...

The Holidays Are Here Again! Are you looking forward to the holiday season? For many, the end of the year holidays means some well-deserved time off. Whether it’s ugly Christmas sweater parties, college football games or family gatherings, the holidays are a time for rest and relaxation.

However, what’s fascinating to me is that when I reconnect with many clients after the new year, they tell me they aren’t at all rested. All the activities and running around haven’t given them any rest. Instead, it just becomes a different form of busyness!

So why the holiday pep talk now? Because now is the time to start planning to actually find rest during your holidays! Either you run the holidays or the holidays run you.

Here are three tips to find some actual rest over the holidays:


1) Don’t Just Indulge

Most people go into all sorts of excess over the holidays. Too much turkey, TV all the time, Netflix binges, football binges, activity after activity, movies every day, etc. Take your pick! It’s certainly available during the holidays!

The reality is that while these things might feel like relief, they don’t really give you rest. The change of scenery might feel nice, and put your brain in a coma for a few days, but it won’t actually relax or reenergize you.

Instead of indulging, purposefully choose a few activities that actually refresh and restore you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Connect with a good friend, do some exercise, play a board game with your family. Anything that you won’t regret the next morning is probably a good idea!


2) Say No

It is okay to tell yourself, “I don’t have to be at every neighborhood party or holiday gathering.”

As a good friend used to tell me: “Every once and a while, you need to relax enough to get bored.” We often find our most creative moments come when we are bored!

Doesn’t it sound nice to have evenings and weekends that aren’t just go, go, go, all the time? Decide what you’re going to say no to this year. This will allow you to find some space to just “do nothing” for an evening or two.


3) Find Agreement

Make sure you don’t just decide how to rest all by yourself and leave your family members to fend for themselves! True rest isn’t individualistic but takes place in and with community.

So decide as a family what true rest looks like this season. Talk about it, be proactive, honor personality differences, and get on the same page about what’s happening over the holidays. It’s OK if everyone doesn’t do the same thing, just make sure you’re communicating well with those who matter most.

Believe it or not, actual rest can happen during the holidays if we are intentional and mindful. When we rest and reflect, we can discern how to recalibrate before we re-engage with the upcoming new year.

Want to read more?

Here are a few other Christmas blog posts: