You rushed around to get everything ready for Christmas. You got all the presents sorted – even the unexpected last minute ones – and made sure everyone got what they wanted. You ensured everyone had a good time, and even reminded yourself to have a good time when your annoying family member was at their most irritating.
You enjoyed it. But you’re tired.
December flew by in a rush, and you’re not entirely sure where it went.
It was a blur. Mostly a good blur, but a blur.
And now it’s nearly January, and you’re planning for the New Year. In the throes of making sure that 2015 is an even better year than 2014. You’re busy again. And getting ready to be busier.
Because there’s something else you need to be doing this week
Making the Most of the Time of Year
I couldn’t honestly write in a blog post that I’m not a fan of being busy. That I don’t love being productive, or finding new ways to do more in less time.
But I also know the value of stopping.
I’ve learned it the hard way. I’ve tried to learn it the easy way – lots of times – but this year I’ve spent Christmas with ‘strep’ throat (that’s bacterial tonsillitis to us Brits) – after a crazy few weeks of hard travelling, and I’ve been forced to stop.
I’ve had a super quiet Christmas, where you’d have been hard pressed to distinguish Christmas day from any other day (apart from a little ‘Facetime’ with family), and I’ve read several novels, watched a little guilty pleasure TV, and done some ‘nesting’ in my new house.
There’s something to be said (a lot, actually) for flow, that state where you’re entirely engaged in what you’re doing. When you’re completely absorbed in a task, your whole self lost to the activity. When you’re busy with one thing, a thing you love.
But that’s for another time.
At this point in the year, it’s the perfect time to press pause.
Because this is one of the quietest weeks of the year for most of us.
Even if you’re at work, unless you work in a retail store, this is likely to be a slow time.
The volume of ‘real’ email (average emails received by a corporate user per day in 2014: 78) slows to a trickle. Your social media streams empty as friends and relatives reconnect ‘IRL’ (In Real Life) and stop posting about it on Facebook because they’re too busy doing it.
Your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can be put on hold.
Because if you stop this week, you won’t be. Missing out.
In fact, it’s the other way round. You’ll be missing out if you don’t take a breather…
How to do it
There’s the full internet detox – where you turn off all the alerts, maybe even shut down the laptop or phone. Go off on retreat. Or go live in a cave for a few days and give all your tech to someone you trust so you don’t rush back and check your email one last time.
But I’m not advocating for that here (though I’m not against it).
Instead, over the next couple of days, in this hiatus before the New Year, a few times a day, just stop.
Stop what you’re doing.
Let your body relax.
You’ll Always Be Busy
That’s modern life. The world we live in. The type of person you are.
But today, this week, and maybe even occasionally in 2015, remember:
It’s enough to be you. In the moment. Still.
You don’t have to ‘do’ anything. No complex meditation. No visualising your success in 2015. No juggling everything like a superhero.
You don’t have to be busy right now.
You just have to breathe…
with love for 2015, Ellen x