Does this happen to you, too? I feel really ahead of the game before Thanksgiving, and then December 1st hits, and suddenly I’m behind the curve. But when we make time for a little rest and reflection, we can discover what really matters. Here are some thoughts around that idea.

Creating Space: When I sit down to make photo calendars every year, I’m surprised by how much I’d forgotten from the past year. It’s fun to see those “memories,” so why do we resist going through memorabilia – photos, letters, newspaper clippings, etc. – and even dread it? It may be largely because we feel like we have to do something with them. What if we just use them as a way to reflect or learn? Try setting aside a 1/2 hour with no expectation of doing any more than looking and enjoying. (My one suggestion is that If it’s in a cardboard box, transfer it into a plastic bin that will better preserve it all.) There’s no need to do anything more, but if you decide you want to go deeper in dealing with those items, here’s an article that might help.

Finding Time: According to an informal survey conducted by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” 95% of people say they don’t indulge in creative pursuits because they don’t have timeShe notes with irony that the survey was conducted on Facebook. She suggests, and I concur, that we’d all benefit from getting “sober” about where our time is actually going. One way to do that is through Time Mapping – actually mapping out on paper what you do with your time. If you have an iPhone, you might take a look at your screen time to see how that factors into your day. It’s a great place to find some time.

Things that Matter: We all know that sleep is important. Exercise, diet and sleep are the trifecta of health and longevity. And they all tend to fall by the wayside over the holidays. But what about rest? It’s different from sleep, nearly as regenerative, and sadly overlooked. Here in my 50s, I’ve discovered what a difference it can make to just sit down occasionally for a couple minutes. Or sometimes, to stand up. Or walk during a run. Or engage in “deep play.” Taking a break periodically allows you to do more and go farther. It’s a skill worth developing! With that, here’s a handy guide to resting. Make time to practice this important skill over the holidays. You’re welcome.

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