17 Ways to Disconnect for the Holiday
It's pretty safe to say that the millennial generation is an engaged generation. We may not engage in the way our elders prefer, but we're connected. Our attention is split between technology, side hustles, socializing and even treating ourselves. This absolutely nothing wrong with it but sometimes, we need to slow down. Sometimes we need to disconnect from the devices, the stress and the BS, especially during the holidays, when it's time to focus on your family and the love you all share.
I completely understand if you feel the need to keep up your every day shenanigans during the holidays. Depending on your type of business, it might be your most lucrative time of the year; you have customers to answer and orders to fill and money to make. I get it, but what about your family?
I'll admit that during the average year, I'm neglectful to my family and my friends. I don't think I've seen my grandma this year (yikes) and I have to set reminders to show Love attention during busy times (developed this trick after the Perfect Wife challenge) and if I didn't work with Julia, I wouldn't see her or my God daughter as often as I do now. Basically my life is a mess and I look forward to disconnecting for the holidays.
If nothing else, when you decide to disconnect, you can:
- Have an intentional break. How often do you allow yourself those through the year? You can recharge, get inspired and come back with some amazing new ideas.
- Have fun. Do you remember that? If you're anything like me, you don't grant yourself that much of a luxury that often, so it's the perfect time to take full advantage.
- Make memories, but also be present in them. It's one thing to be standing around, "slightly" distracted, when life is occurring around you. It's another thing to take and active part in life.
Disconnecting can be scary though, believe me, I know. I run a product based business and not answering a question in a decent amount of time can be the difference in making a sale and not making a sale. So I would love to say that I don't touch my phone but that would be a lie.
The I way disconnect for the holidays is by first evaluating when would and wouldn't be a good time to use my phone. If we're out and about or having intimate moments, my phone is away...unless I'm taking pictures...but no business is being handled. But, if there's a large group of us sitting around, I am guilty for screening messages and comments for any urgent matters. If it's something that can wait, I will let it wait.
That's clearly not the only way you can disconnect for the holidays, and thank goodness, because that would just be horrible. Remember, we keep it real here. We asked some ladies from across the web how they choose to disconnect for the holiday season in order to spend quality time with their families. Some of these ladies are moms, some are bloggers, some are entrepreneurs and some are all of the above.
Here are 16 More Ways to Disconnect for the Holiday Season
1. During the holidays, I prefer to start winding down so I can fix my mindset for the upcoming year. I begin by focusing on meditatition in conjunction with positive affirmations for at least 20 minutes each morning to ensure I'm moving in the right direction mentally. With that done, I spend the next 30 minutes mapping out my priorities for the day. I do not lay a finger on any kind of technology before I do this. To get myself where need to be mentally and ensure I have a healthy relationship with tech, I turn off my computer the night and put my phone on 'Do not disturb' before I go to bed. Neither of these things get my attention until I have had time to pamper myself and realign myself for the day.
Erika McWhorter of Erika McWhorter
2. Because we are a deaf family, our approach is wildly different than the hearing community. Most times we are out in the garden by tilling and re-tilling the earth. We love to watch the falling snow because this event is one of the moment we can truly share. The snow is so silent that I for a few moments cannot hear either. I have lots of anecdotes and stories about our lives during the holidays!
Marty Moton of Literary Kinship
3. In addition to the suggestions I made in this blog post, I have also made it a point to turn off all of the notifications that come through my phone with the exception of email. I keep my email notifications on just in case I need to be reached immediately by a client or a vendor I'm working with. But I do always have an auto responder in place whenever a delayed response time may occur. I hope this helps as well!
Amanda Adams of Amanda Adams Photography
4. I find it helpful to approach the holidays with a mindset that is very similar to how I approach my work - with intention and dedication. For the holidays, I visualize and set specific intention to make memories my children and I will remember and cherish. That doesn't mean I can't have a window to "check in" on business, but it means I dedicate time and focus on only family. Unplugged. With activities. Eye contact. Conversation. And lots of hugs. Those are my "deliverables" and applying the same level of intention to family that I apply to business works for me.
Collette Kaku of Fitness Tips for Moms
5. As an entrepreneur and a busy mother of 3 little boys, it’s hard juggling all the daily activities of work and a household, even more so with the holidays around the corner. Disconnecting from it all to what’s most important - family, is a top priority of mine. Completing the most important tasks of my work earlier in the day is one way to accumulate time for later. Batch-cooking meals during non working hours is another way. Simply dumping a pile of beans in a crockpot, or simmering tomatoes in the oven on the lowest setting throughout the night are some no-brainless [tasks] for me.
Ode Ughojor Dixon of Ode Dixon
6. I disconnect for the holidays by cleansing, purging, and giving to local charities in my community and by teaching my little kingdom the reason for the season and more about giving and helping others all year!
Toiia L. Rukuni of Mother of the World
7. I think the best way to get into the Christmas mood is to put up the decorations and light some scented candles! Then accept that things might end up being imperfect and make a choice to enjoy the holidays anyway. Also try to stay away from social media because it is addictive, especially if you are into blogging! Happy holidays to everyone, sending lots of love
Raquel Ortunou of Heard at Lunch
8. For me, I have found that planning ahead saves me so much stress and frees up so much time. At the end of November I crack open my holiday planner and set an evening aside so I know what needs doing by when. It's not fun or sexy but it allows me to be able to put business to one side, have everything running smoothly for the holidays and actually enjoy the time off, rather than rushing round like a headless turkey! Simple checklists, things like cooking timings for the big day and breaking everything into tiny bite sized pieces has saved me from losing it! The other thing we decided on a few years back was to keep things simple and say no more. We were all getting burned out trying to see everyone and do everything, it didn't feel like a holiday.
Jo Ebisujima of Jojoebi
9. At one time the holiday season would have sent me into a tailspin of stress. All kinds of junk would come up around being a perfectionist and some serious need for people pleasing. It was stressful and caused my family frustration too. Today, I’ve let all that ish go. I stay focused on daily self-care, schedule and commit to getting plenty of sleep, delegate a lot, remind myself of what is truly important and have an attitude of gratitude for every joy-filled moment. This did not happen over night. I committed to intentionally creating my life-loving reality one day at a time. As a result, the holiday season becomes an extension of that.
Stephanie LH Callahan of Stephanie Calahan
10. PLAN AHEAD. "Mommin" and being your own BOSS makes you feel entitled to do everything non-stop. That's when you STOP, take a deep breath and get your priorities in check. Gather everything that needs attention with time sensitive tasks FIRST on the list. If you can, plan three to four weeks ahead of time. Knwoing you have things planned out will help you enjoy family time (holidays) more. That way when vacation is over, instead of rushing back into the swing of things, you will have a smooth transition.
Qydasia Guyton of Navie and Me
11. As a Mom of 2 year old twins and a 6 year old, slowing down during the holidays are a requirement. With school being out, and Christmas approaching, I use that time to reflect on my year and prepare mentally for the next year. Planning, writing down goals, meditating and taking time for myself are all ways I disconnect. Spending time with the kids and my husband really puts me in a state of gratitude. Years ago I had to work long hours during the holidays. The hard work, love and energy I pour into my business makes everything worth it. The flexibility and freedom is priceless.
Nacondra Moran of Exceptional Tax Services
12. I usually try to use my holidays as catch up time, but the prospect of my youngest child going into full time in the new year has been a wake up call. This year, I'll be spending more quality time with my family and doing the sprinting beforehand to automate as much as possible in the run up to the holidays. One of the ways I'm planning to do this is with email automation. In the two weeks before I take my leave, I'll be sending my clients automated emails to check that they've got everything they need before we break and and we'll schedule catch up sessions for the new year so we can hit the ground running. If the emails I receive in response have common questions, I'll also set up an FAQ page that I can redirect people to from my out of office autresponder email.
Ade Goode of Cookies and Strings
13. I'm a serial over-committer around the holidays. So now? I get aggressive with my calendar. No more than one event on any given day, and no more than 2 events in a week. It sucks having to say no to friends and family, but it saves my sanity. And a sane mama = a happy mama.
Megan Seeley of The Goal Designer
14. When I find myself completely overwhelmed, I take what I call a Mindful Moment. I love this strategy, because I can do it anytime, anywhere, no matter what's going on. Overwhelm typically strikes because I'm caught up in mind chatter about the past ("I can't believe I said something so stupid!") or the future ("How on earth am I going to get all of this done in time?"). When I notice myself getting anxious, frustrated, or at the end of my rope, I take a deep breath, notice my thoughts and feelings without judgment, and refocus on the present moment. I don't tell myself not to think or feel something, I just observe what comes up, then I return my full attention to whatever I'm doing in the moment. Mindful Moments are not about beating myself up - it's about compassionately, objectively noticing what's going on in my mind, and focusing on the present moment.
Lee Chaix McDonough of Caravel Coaching
15. I like to spend time away from my phone and computer while I visit my family so I don't miss out on holiday fun! I let myself check email in the morning and at night in case of issues, but I schedule my work so that the holidays can be spent unplugged. Without managing my time properly, I wouldn't be able to spend time baking desserts (like Bourbon French Toast or sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes). Taking time away on the holidays helps me reset and get ready for the following year!
Sophie Newman of Sophie Newman
16. Already when I’m trying to work I get a hundred interruptions: where are my shoes? what are you doing? Can I have some of your coke? I’m bored. And that is just my husband. It’s hard enough scheduling time for work and family on a normal day but add in the holidays and I have to plan weeks in advance. In short, i work my butt off to schedule everything in advance so that when the holidays are here, I am spending the minimal amount of time on my computer or phone and I’m mentally and physically present for my family. I use project management tools like Trello and Planoly to schedule out my blog posts and social posts. Then you just have to trust your work and unplug.
Jennifer Waldsmith of Gin and Toddlers
There you have it, 17 different ways for you to disconnect and spend more time with your family during the holidays. Whether it's automating your business, going cold turkey on the devices or some before hand holiday prep, there's a ton of ways you can disconnect for the holidays!
We wish you Happy Holidays, happy memories and growth and prosperity in whatever it is you touch!
Is there a way that you disconnect that you don't see on the list? Let us know - and help us all - in the comment section by telling us what it is!