It’s Time!

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December 9, 2022

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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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It’s finally time, the holidays are here… But let’s be real for a moment, who else is feeling a bit burnt out? Thinking your string lights may not be the only thing to blow a fuse? Now, I love the holidays as much as anyone but between gathering gifts, attending activities, and time spent traveling, the joy of the season can begin to feel like a chore.  So I, John McClain, am here to remind you (and myself) that as the busy holiday season approaches, it is essential to take time for yourself and actually enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. Here are some ways you can practice self-care this season;

1. Take Care of Your Health 

A fabulous way to relieve stress and anxiety, and provide an essential energy boost is to take a simple walk.  No need for 2 hours on a treadmill or even stretchy pants (I may still want the stretchy pants) something as simple as walking around the block provides a connection to nature, a breath of fresh air, a bit of exercise, and a critical disconnect from our digital lives. Lessen your emotional load through movement and you will feel better.  

While nourishing your soul, don’t forget to nourish your body as well. While enjoying a steady diet of cookies and cocktails is the hallmark of my holiday season, I do feel the occasional need for a fruit or vegetable.  Feed your body to fuel your festivities, that’s what I always say…  Actually, just enjoy yourself, your loved ones, and all the recipes we make but once a year.  We will all meet back up in “Dry” January to discuss nutrition.  

  1. Practice Mindfulness 

As Mindful Care Inc put it, “Mindfulness goes beyond living in the Kodak Moment. Even if an event seems picture perfect with every detail accounted for, make sure you are not just handing out presents, but actually BEING present. Take in a moment, rather than trying to snap it up for social media.”  Oh boy, did that hit home for me! 

Our world operates in a constant state of frenzy.  Fear of missing the moment has made us all miss the moment.  Just enjoy authentic interactions this year instead of creating content.  One way I practice mindfulness is by focusing on all five senses. There is plenty to taste, smell, see, feel and hear during this holiday season, so by utilizing these senses I remain fully present and acknowledge the moment I am in.

  1. Make time for yourself, by saying “No’ 

As the von Trapp family would sing 🎶Invites, activities, pot lucks and mixers; baking, gift making, and arguing with sisters. Tracking lost packages,  blinking light strings, these are a few of my least favorite things…🎶

Our endless to-do lists become even more endless this time of year.  We all need to exercise the ancient art of the “NO”!  Allow me to provide some examples:

“The PTA really needs you to organize a teacher’s brunch by Friday.”   (No)

“We all thought it would be cozier this Christmas if we stayed at your house.”  (No)

“Uncle Eddie is needing you to watch his dogs for a couple of weeks while he goes squirrel hunting.”  (That would be a hard No)

As much as we want to participate in as many festivities as possible, at some point, the fun turns into fear and loathing.  With a limited amount of energy and resources, we all need to make decisions on how thin to spread our holiday spirit.  

I completely understand the need to please, but if I come to a party exhausted and in a mood, I will be nothing but a pickle in the punch bowl.  Meter out your merriment and everyone will enjoy your company much more.

So there you have it friends. This holiday season put your well being first, be present in moments, and just say no. Happy Holidays! ❄️

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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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