Wednesday, December 9, 2015

6 Ways to Take a Pause from the Holiday Hustle

Between back-to-back craft shows, holiday shopping, custom soap orders, kid activities, and maintaining our house (or trying to), I've been incredibly busy these past few weeks! As my soap making business becomes more and more established, I really wanted to put as much time and effort in during this holiday season as possible. It's been quite a balancing act, too! I love this time of year, and with my kids so young and full of holiday spirit, I really want to savor this time with them. During a recent craft show I had a few slow minutes and started thinking about some of the ways that I like to take a quick pause when I start to feel overwhelmed with tasks, duties, and the regular juggling that comes with being a stay-at-home mom and and fledgling entrepreneur. Bonus: Each and every one of them can be enhanced with your favorite music! Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order).

1. Take a Bath

We had both of our bathrooms remodeled this last spring, which means that our ugly old pink abomination of a bathtub was replaced with a deeper, wider tub. Our new bathtubs have been my saving grace more times than I can count! I've found that there is very a little that a nice warm bath can't fix, and it's especially nice with additives. It sounds really olde time-y, but lately we've been really into using epsom salt in the bath. It's very inexpensive and easy to find at drug stores. Some essential oils for aromatherapy or bath tea would also be a nice, relaxing addition!

2. Breathe (or Meditate)

It's so simple, but sometimes I still have to remind myself to do it. Just breathe! If I ever have a block of time by myself, I like to listen to guided meditations like Meditainment. It's a cross between meditation and entertainment. See what they did there? It's a great way to make 20 minutes really count in my day. After I'm done, I feel more focused and relaxed. Plus, I love the way the English narrator says "meditative."

3. Enjoy Nature

This one is simpler than it sounds. It's doesn't require a 5 mile hike or special gear. It could be as simple as a stroll in your back yard, or taking a minute to appreciate the colors of the fall leaves. It instantly makes me feel more grounded when I stop to take care of my tiny little herb garden or notice that the chickadees are looking for a nesting spot near my deck. Bonus points for taking a walk and racking up some exercise!

4. Do Something for Others

This one is my favorite because it's so easy to do and makes me feel really good. There are opportunities to be of service to other humans everywhere. It doesn't mean that you have to make a huge cash donation or volunteer all of your time away (although those things are really nice, too!). Helping others could mean offering a genuine smile and some patience to a harried cashier, offering to help someone who looks like they could use a hand, donating something you don't need but that someone else might treasure. It all makes a difference!

5. Experience the Holidays Like the Kiddos Do

My kiddos are 3 and 7 this year. As cheesy as it sounds, I can't deny the joy that I get from watching them experience the magic of the holiday season. Watching them meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, putting up Christmas (and Hanukkah, and Festivus, and...basically we celebrate everything) decorations, and counting down the days until Winter Break from school is a proverbial youth tonic. Just remembering how awe inspiring my early Christmas experiences were makes me feel at peace.

6. Bring a Beverage

The weather is icky, you're crazy busy, and the holiday rush has you a little frazzled. You need a really great beverage! Water is always good (stay hydrated!), but it's the holidays, so you should treat yo' self to something really great. If you're into tea, this Caramel Popcorn Tea from Tea Guys comes highly recommended. Into something caffeinated? I tried a Lavender Honey Latte the other day that was downright transcendental. My go-to favorite is a nice Cabernet Sauvignon (this one is one of my local favorites right now), but if you're going for something a little more boozy, then really go for it with Hemingway's Daiquiri

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