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Overcoming the Holidays and Looking to the New Year

Every year the holidays come calling and I vow to do all of the things: catch up with paperwork, attend numerous holiday events, be a room mom and show up in every sense of the word. Over the years I have learned that I cannot possibly do it all, at least until I am able to clone myself like Dolly the sheep.

I’m sure that the holiday hustle resounds with everyone, but I hope it resounds with the boss ladies out there, stretching themselves to the limit.

Here are a few simple things that have worked for me over the years, either that I have learned from experience or that have been relayed to me by one of the amazing mentors in my life:

Let it go: With the last echoes of the new Frozen soundtrack resounding through my brain, it occurred to me that I should stop over-committing myself. Holiday parties and events are great but the last two months of the year pass in a whirlwind of glitter and tulle. If you are an avid scheduler like me, sitting down and prioritizing events and activities that feed your soul or work best for your schedule is key. Sometimes you must give your best regards and Amazon a lovely fruitcake or chocolate Santa to save your sanity.

Organize: One of best things about a going into a new year is a clean slate and organizing your work and personal life is paramount to making this happen. Filing contracts, throwing out old invites and paperwork and setting appointments for after the holidays gives me peace of mind and lets me enjoy the holidays. This works in my personal life too and I discreetly purge the playroom and myself of the projects that I swear I’m going to get to, and the clothes I promise swear will fit correctly one day.

Treat Yourself: According to my enneagram test, I give all of myself to others and often forget myself. Whether this is true or not, the challenge of people-pleasing is especially poignant at this time of year. With age and experience, I have learned that if I don’t remember to take care of myself and prioritize my own mental and physical health that I begin to falter in my ability to multi-task and help those around me. The whole self-care “put your oxygen mask on first” phenomenon speaks to my soul and I try to schedule personal breaks during the week, especially during the season when I am prone to being an overstressed and frenetic holiday elf. As I mentioned before, if I don’t schedule it doesn’t happen, and little breaks to watch Elf on the treadmill or sort out my collection of ugly Christmas sweaters helps me to reset.

Goal Setting: The end of the year is a time to reflect. For me, this year has been one for extreme personal and professional change. Often, I remind myself that without change there is no growth and we all grow out of discomfort. This is great to remember when everything feels awkward and I must think on my feet, mostly because I am often flying by the seat of my pants as the world changes around me. Setting goals puts processes in place and gives me the infrastructure that I need for when things don’t turn out as planned. Giving myself an annual mission makes me feel like a PR and marketing operative with a measurable accountability standard. As a consummate overachiever, I tend to be hard on myself and it helps me reflect on how much I have achieved-it’s also why I live by a daily to-do list.

In the long run, it’s important to remember that we are all doing our best this holiday season. Social media makes us all feel like we are not doing enough as we see families in their perfect Christmas outfits and colleagues in their sparkly holiday outfits. You might see me in those same pictures, but I will be the first to tell you that I bribed everyone in that picture with a pocket full of Hershey Kisses and I tore my pantyhose and fell asleep in my toddler’s bed at the end of the night.

Be easy on yourself and step forward with a positive and reflective foot into the new year.

 


 

Emily Broughton  Emily Broughton is a busy mom of three little girls, media maven, and membership chair for PRSA Dayton. She works as the Marketing and Communications Manager for Cox Media Group and hustles in the community to help non-profits, working as a professional “hype man” for various brands.

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