December is a rough month to feel calm and rested. It is all too easy to become discombobulated and feel overwhelmed.
What can you do to help prepare yourself for the December holidays? For the entire month of December at large?
The first thing I do is turn to my planner. This month is the first month I am using a more consciously decorated Bullet Journal setup. I have two different notebooks that I am using as I am trying to find out which size and format I prefer, and which spreads work best for me.
The first spread I set up would be a monthly spread. This way I can easily see all the commitments I have made.
I would also set up a shopping tracker, or maybe more. I would have spreads keeping track of gifts I want for other people. I would set up a spread for tracking spending, to keep track of what I spend on gifts, on food, on materials and/or ingredients for different things.
How can setting up and filling in spreads in my planner make me feel rested?
Let me share this video by VeroBujo.
As you can see, the setting up and the decorating of spreads can be calming and relaxing. It doesn’t matter if you use watercolor, as Vero does, or if you play with stickers, or scrapbooking paper, or random markers with which to create little doodles. This can be such a meditative experience in and of itself.
In my desktop planner, which already has pre-made pages, pre-made set-ups, my GoGetterGirlCo undated 5-in-1 planner, I make sure that I schedule in time to create art…time to put together and bind books, journals, and whatnot.
When I started planning, I would simply write in ‘art’ on my schedule. Nowadays I write something specific, for example, this week I want to work for twenty or so pieces on my peacock piece. This piece has the background already scrubbed in, the initial shapes and so forth. Now is the time to begin to lay down the underlayers. I try to write down something specific to do, rather than the random ‘make art’. It is easier for me to turn away from ‘make art’ because that is so open, too open, whereas when I write work on the peacock piece for twenty/etc minutes. Now I have something more concrete to do—and that I want to get down.
My planner has become a place for grounding and creativity all of its own. There is no need to wait for a specific time before beginning to create the art and/or the spreads for the coming month. I have begun to set up a Bullet Journal for my youngest, without putting in concrete dates, simply because he has expressed an interest in keeping his own Bullet Journal and because the creation of it makes me feel good. It gives me an outlet for my creativity—and that helps me relax and feel better.
I also schedule in breathwork and Yoga throughout my week. Every day I schedule ten to fifteen minutes for breathwork. I always do counted breathwork, Ujjayi breathing. Depending on my lungs as I have asthma, some days I count inhale 4, hold for 2, and exhale 8. Or some such variation.
With Yoga, due to my physical limitations and the like, I may schedule one or two poses per day. This month I am using a tracker where I have ten typical poses that I do…and I schedule each pose for specific days. I also keep a set of easier poses for those days I am not quite so mobile. I typically use a more Yin approach to Yoga these days. That means holding a single pose for an extended period of time. It also means moving deeper into each pose instead of moving into a different pose.
On those days when we attend parties, go shopping, or spend a great deal of time – or some days, any time around people – I need to make sure that I have time built into my schedule to detox after the interactions. I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)—too much noise, too many people, too chaotic of energy from the people/crowds—it is overwhelming for me. This means that after an event, I make sure my planner/calendar is clear for the next day at least.
I take the time to take a shower to rinse away the energetic residue. I make the time to write in my journal, to release anything I may be holding on to. I ensure that I get a lot of sleep the night of and the night after an event. I also ensure that I agree to events that are not all day after day after day.
For example, I would not schedule an event on Monday, another on Tuesday, another on Wednesday, and so on. I must have time between events in order to decompress. I will typically not agree to more than two events per week because I know my limitations and I believe in maintaining the boundaries I need to maintain in order to keep myself sane and comfortable. I have learned over the years just how important that is for my health.
I have recently begun to schedule in something that I call “family time”…and I add nothing more to the description than that. My husband, my youngest, and I hang out together. Maybe we go out for a family walk if the weather permits. Maybe we go out for a drive. Maybe we watch a movie together. During the month of December, we schedule family time to visit the lights at the zoo, and drive-through light displays. We will drive through various neighborhoods to look at other holiday displays. My husband and I will discuss things ahead of time, so I usually know what we will be doing in enough time to write it in my planner, but sometimes I just like the look of ‘family time’ written there on the pages.
I have a separate journal where I keep track of what we did and where we went.
In my planner, I plan time to plan. I plan time to journal. I plan time to write out my gratitude.
There are so many ways to use your planner to make sure you make time enough to rest and to recharge yourself as you go along through this month.
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