Our FAVORITE Holiday Resources Part 1

holiday Dec 10, 2022

The Holidays are right around the corner. To celebrate, we are rounding up some of our favorite “getting ready for the holidays” posts and resources to get you in the spirit of the season, without feeling overwhelmed. 

In today’s post:

  • How to get ready to go “Out of Office”, and set yourself up for success when you’re ready to power back on
  • How to notice when you’re in “overwhelm”, and some tips to diffuse the swirl
  • Self Care Essentials, how to figure out what you need when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and fill your cup so you can show up for others (and for yourself!)

Let’s get into it!



How to get ready to go “Out of Office”

First featured in Four Practices & Rituals for Better Time Off

When you’re tired from an intense year, just making it to your time off feels like a win (and it is). But did you know that a small amount of preparation before you set your “OOO” (out of office) can make a HUGE difference when it’s time to start up again in the new year? 

The reward? Instead of the turbo charged “Sunday Scaries” we are prone to experiencing, especially when returning from time off, you can diffuse some of that anxiety and instead feel confident and prepared. Imagine how it would feel to know exactly where you’ll be focused when power back on, AND have the time set aside to get back up to speed without being frantic on day 1. 

It’s super doable by following a few simple steps to prepare for your absence. Here they are:

  1. Write down what you’re working on and the current status of those projects in a central document. Use our handy Out of Office Prep Template.
  2. Write down any items you’ll need to follow up on when you get back. 
    • For projects: Try to write just enough detail that it will be clear what action you need to take (our recommended columns and examples are in the template linked above). Include links to any relevant documents or files so they are easy to find, or put them in a designated “follow up” folder on your computer.  
    • For emails: Depending on your provider, either label emails you need to follow up on, or create a special “follow up” folder so that they are easy to find. 
  3. Prep your calendar in advance. Blocking time for you to get back up to speed on your first day back (ideally the first few hours of the day). Also plan ahead for any meetings you’ll need in that first week to continue acting on the projects and deliverables you need to follow up on (ideally on your second day or later). Having dedicated time will help you action any time sensitive matters, and get caught up on what happened while you were gone.

Doing this prep allows you to enter your time away with a clear mind, and without the stress of incomplete things interfering with your peace. 

Bonus tip: To truly disconnect, either log out of your work email or remove notifications so you’re not tempted to pick it up and see what’s coming in. 

Downloadable Resource: The Out of Office Prep Template



How to notice, and diffuse overwhelm

First featured in Overwhelm 911 - The science of overwhelm & what to do about it

Feelings of overwhelm can happen to anyone from time to time. The holidays can invite complex feelings even more intensely. Social commitments and obligations often pick up, and there is just more “stuff” to remember, to do, to cope with. There are the practical things that squeeze into our to-do lists: Getting gifts, preparing to host guests, planning travel to see loved ones, and more… And then there’s the mental and psychological load: the sometimes-crushing self-inflicted expectations we have for creating holiday magic, navigating challenging family dynamics, coping with loss, grief, or changes in circumstance. 

It’s not just chaos in our minds, these feelings trigger very real physiological responses. What is available to you to help diffuse overwhelm when you are in the midst of swirl? 

  • Awareness - The first step is to notice it’s happening. You may recognize the physical sensations first: a tight chest, shallow breathing, pressure on your shoulders, or something else entirely. Or maybe you recognize your thought patterns. Nothing can change if you don’t first notice it, so once you recognize you are in overwhelm, verbalize the reflection and take some deep breaths to help you find calm. 
  • Self compassion - Recognize that you are doing the very best you can in this moment, and whatever you are doing, wherever you are, it is enough. Treat yourself with the care and kindness you would a friend or loved one. It’s ok to have a hard time. You do not deserve criticism, you deserve compassion. 
  • Self care - What would be supportive in this moment? What would help you feel better, more calm, more at ease? It might be taking an action (like writing a to-do list), it might be a break (like doing a guided meditation, taking a nap, or going for a walk), or it could be a distraction (like watching a movie, reading a book, calling a friend). 
  • Self reflection - Get curious about what is going on, and what led to these feelings, if it feels accessible to do so. Have you been neglecting your sleep, your wellbeing, your health, your needs?? Sometimes your swirl is so intense, it doesn’t help to reflect right away, that’s ok too. 

When you recognize the feeling, be kind to yourself, and take care of yourself. 


Self Care Essentials

First featured in Overwhelm Redux - Self Care Rescue

When you realize your cup needs filling, and you need a little TLC, where do you start? Sometimes even figuring out what you need can feel stressful, like there’s a “right” way to relax (much like deciding to watch a movie and spending an hour scrolling to find the “right” one, ever been there?). 

We’re here to help!. Let’s talk about the six types of self care, and some suggestions for how to find the right one. 

The six types of self care are:

  • Contemplation - Meditation, mindfulness, journaling, reflection, spiritual or religious practices
  • Social - Connecting with friends and loved ones, quality time, exercising boundaries
  • Physical - Sleep, gentle movement (stretching, yoga), physical exercise, nourishing food, rest
  • Emotional - This includes self-compassion (when you treat yourself with the care you would a close friend), kindness and generosity. 
  • Personal care - Engaging in hobbies, doing things you enjoy
  • Nature - Connecting with the outdoors, being inspired by nature

And if you’re looking for some help in figuring out which one might work best for you? Grab the Self Care Rescue download to guide you! You can find helpful suggestions if you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, chaotic, lonely or inadequate (P.S. you are most definitely not).

Downloadable Resource - Self Care Rescue



No matter if the holidays are hugely joyful, stressful, or all of the above, we’re in it together, and we’re here to help!

Wishing you as much peace, space and ease as possible during this merry season. 

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