Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When Holidays Collide—How To Make Time For Yourself

Posted by: Maureen
By Maureen Bonatch

I turned off the light after the last trick-or-treater and extinguished the pumpkins lining our porch. Thoughts of immersing myself in a paranormal or scary movie to continue to enjoy the Halloween vibe filled my mind. As I passed the living room I paused. A Christmas commercial caught my eye. It wasn’t the first one I’d seen, and I was sure it wouldn’t be even close to the last.

As soon as summer begins to wind down and the air starts to chill, the crush of Hallo-thanks-mas advertising and promotions settles on our shoulders along with a To-do list heavier than the boxes of holiday decorations. It seems like every month of the year we get busier, yet we still try to fit in all the extra tasks that accompany the holidays. Something’s got to give, and it’s usually the time we devote to ourselves.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

There are many people who look forward to the holiday season with the same joy they felt as a child. But there seem to be more who become filled with dread for various reasons but often due to the lack of time to create the holiday scenes portrayed on the commercials. We rush to complete the marathon of madness until collapsing with exhaustion after the New Year rings in.

Many writers, including myself, voluntarily choose to raise the bar and pile more on their To-do list by participating in NaNoWri Month (National Novel Writing Month). 

So how do we enjoy the holidays without giving up the things we enjoy most? Often we run out of time to do things like writing, reading and other entertaining activities because we are overwhelmed with obligation.

Don’t Turn Back Time

If you participated in Daylight Savings Time on November 5th and turned back the clock an hour, don’t change your morning alarm clock. Continue to get up at the same time you were=an hour earlier. Your body should be fairly accustomed to getting up at that time so continue to do so. Devote that hour to doing something you enjoy. Consider this your—me time.

Record That Television Show

The fall and winter seasons bring back tons of our favorite shows to tempt us. With the availability of DVR, Netflix, On-Demand and countless methods to watch our coveted television shows after the fact, it’s easy to eliminate commercials and watch our favorite shows quicker, or at a time that it’s more convenient—or so you can get to bed a little earlier and get extra rest and not get over stressed.
  •     Tip—save time by multi-tasking. Exercise while you watch your shows, or wrap gifts, write yourholiday cards or complete other tedious tasks.

Put yourself at the top of the list

The pressure of the holidays has us trying to find that perfect gift for all the special people on the list. We usually forget one person—us. If we put ourselves on that list we can enjoy the holiday season a little more.
 You don’t have to buy yourself a gift (but you could when you’re shopping all those spectacular sales) but schedule in the time to relax, turn your thoughts away from any overwhelming thoughts and enjoy a little self-care or pampering.
  •   Read a book or listen to music while relaxing in a bath
  • Take a few minutes before bed to enjoy a scented lotion or candle

Consider The True Joys of The Season

Most won’t remember what gift you got them, or the time-consuming special dish you prepared for the holiday meal—they’ll remember the memories created. Be sure to slow down and make your own memories so when January rolls around you don’t look back to the last three months as a blur of stress and obligation. Make the season magical—for you. That’s the true gift that keeps on giving.

How Do You Make Time For Yourself Over the Hallo-Thanks-Mas Holidays?

My NaNoWri Baby from 2012

Despite the little bit of insanity involved with fitting in NaNoWri, I consider devoting time to my stories as a gift to myself. My recent release, Evil Speaks Softly, was born in NaNoWri 2012 as See No Evil.

Everyone has a story to tell. Even the dead.

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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