Slowing Down This Holiday Season

How to Take Time to Slow Down and Take Care of Yourself this Holiday Season While Running an Online Business.

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I was just living life as I normally do, shopping at the Indie Craft Experience Holiday Extravaganza (which is awesome, by the way) in Atlanta looking for all my loved ones unique, local gifts for the holidays when a strange pain came over me suddenly. My husband and I took the train home, and I laid on the couch figuring I just needed some rest and all would be fine. Time passes, the pain comes and goes, until it didn’t go and stayed and got worse, and worse, until it was absolutely unbearable.

Now, if you know anything about me at all, you know I will not go to the doctor unless something is very wrong. I don’t like the doctor’s office, and I don’t like the bill that comes afterwards, as I’m sure most creative entrepreneurs can relate to. So when my husband, AJ, got me to agree to go to the ER at 2am in the morning, we both knew it was bad.

More time passes, we wait and wait for what seems like forever (it actually was an entire night) when the doctors finally figure out that I have appendicitis and will be going into surgery to have my appendix removed that day.

Needless to say, I was a little freaked out, but knew I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, and would do anything to free myself of the pain. The surgery went well, I spent my Thanksgiving break laid up in a hospital bed, and then on the couch, and today marks the first day I am officially back to my full working schedule.

Why am I writing this to you, you might be wondering. I want to speak to the importance of slowing down and taking time for yourself and your loved ones over this holiday season. I know that for many creatives, (I’m looking at you product-based businesses) the holidays are often the busiest time of year when you do most of your sales. This is great, and I wish you all the success in hitting your goals, but I want to ask you how you can manage the craziness that the season brings while also slowing down and practicing some self-care and self-love.

My body literally forced me to slow down and take a break from my business, my exercise, and general everyday routine. While I was in the hospital on Thanksgiving, I was thinking I’d give anything to be with my family instead of here in this bed. If this had not happened, I would have likely spent a lot of my Thanksgiving on my computer checking Facebook, Instagram, reading emails, and trying to squeeze in a little work in between time with family. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the silver lining of my story is that through the recovery process I was forced to take a step back and appreciate many things that I often overlook living in today’s hurried society.

I have also been forced to listen to my body, and in turn this has helped me learn a little more about taking a break when you need, and not letting your body be overcome with stress. It’s really, really bad for you! I made a list of what I was grateful for while I was recovering, and my answers surprised me a little bit. They were different than what I usually list as the things I’m grateful for. Since my life was so different at this moment (I could barely walk around on my own), my list was filled with smaller things that I hardly ever pay attention to, and not the standard big items like friends, family, house, job, etc.

I learned so much during this time that I want to ask you to make a list of the small things you are grateful for this season and then try to savor these things a little more over the next couple weeks. If it’s the comfiness of your bed, stay in bed 5 extra minutes one morning and just enjoy it. If it’s a sunny day, go take a long walk and answer those emails later. If it’s fresh flowers, get some more to put around your living space. You could schedule a special date night with your significant other or a close friend if you aren’t seeing much of each other due to end of the year work schedules. Whatever it is, recognize it, and then create space for more of it in your life. Your mind and your body will thank you.

What are you hoping to savor this season and create more of in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Side note: I have been list making all year with The 52 Lists Project which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!