The holidays are in full swing, and many of the conversations I’m having with friends are focused on racing to the end-of-the-year finish line—or the big changes they want to make once the new year hits. The overall tone is stressful and distracted from the present moment. I’ve been there—stretched so thin during the holidays with social and work commitments that I end up on the edge of burnout by January 1. But this year, I’m making a promise to myself: it’s time to have an anti-hustle holiday.
What exactly is that, you may ask? An anti-hustle holiday is one that goes against the many societal pressures we feel this time of year. The need to have a perfectly-decorated home, attend every party, and have a stream of freshly-baked holiday cookies emerging from the oven at all times. I’m choosing to say “no” to what doesn’t resonate—in turn, creating space for all the holiday magic I want to soak up.
How to Have an Anti-Hustle Holiday
Because IYKYK: when we experience holiday burnout, we quickly lose any momentum we had for our New Year’s goals. Then, before we know it: work and life pick back up, and we’re back on the hamster wheel once again.
So this year, let’s do it different. Rather than overcommitting during the holidays and focusing on everything we need to shift or change in 2024, it’s time to shift the focus. Instead, I’m thinking about how I want to feel in the last couple of weeks of the year: present, calm, and well-rested. I’m stepping into the season with this goal of an anti-hustle holiday guiding my way. To inspire your own merry and bright December, here’s everything I’m NOT going to do before the end of 2023.
1. Not Overcommitting to Dinners
I’m the worst offender here. The second November and December arrive, my festive brain kicks into overdrive. I want to get dressed up and spend all my time with friends and family. But before I know it, I have 3-4 dinners or social events lined up each week and I’m exhausted by mid-December.
This year, I’m committing to one ladies’ night of board games and a potluck in December. That gives everyone the opportunity to gather altogether and not have to plan one-off hangs.
2. Not Drinking During the Week
The party invites have been coming in hot since Halloween wrapped. While I won’t be saying yes to every single event, I would like to support my nearest and dearest if even for an hour. And as much as I love a glass of bubbles and a cheese tray while I’m dressed to the 9’s, I’m pumping the breaks and limiting my alcohol intake so I can feel fresh and rested. With the exception of a holiday dinner with my family, I’m cutting alcohol during the week. I always feel so better when I put some guardrails on my intake. (Psst… to still partake in the fun, these are our favorite non-alcoholic drinks.)
3. Not Leaving Myself off the Gift List
Otherwise said: I’m treating myself, because I had a YEAR. (We all did.) I traveled more than ever, experienced loss, health scares, and so many things in between. You know I believe in the importance of self-care, and for me that comes in the form of movement, therapy, rest, and plenty of laughter. But this year, I’m gifting myself a staycation and enjoying time alone to relax, have a great meal, and soak up a full spa day. I’m intentionally scheduling this before family arrives and I go into host-mode. There’s nothing that helps me feel more present and relaxed than an evening to myself.
4. Not Going to Earn My Meals
I’m sure our resident nutritionist, Edie, would co-sign on this one. This isn’t so much a new move for me as it as a reminder that I don’t have to. I exercise because it makes me feel good and I want to be nimble, flexible, and strong throughout my lifetime. (Not because I’m going to have pumpkin pie one day of the year.) I hope to start my holidays the same way I enjoy starting every day—with a nice walk around the lake with my partner and or family by my side.
5. Not Mindlessly Scrolling Social Media
I’ve been so present to the notion that we will never get the time back that is right in front of us. My family is coming to town and given I only see them given times a year, all my attention is going straight to them—not watching how other families are spending their time on social media. If you need help doing your own holiday social media detox, we share tips for spending time off your phone here.
6. Not Scrambling to Have the Perfectly Decorated or Clean Place
Day 1 of hosting guests means my place is absolutely immaculate and clean. But as the week goes on and everyone lives in my place, it gets a bit disheveled. Rather than stress and constantly vacuum, sweep, and scrub, I’m just going to let it be “cleanish.” Or if I’m really stressed, I’ll hire a cleaning crew.
Rather than focus on the perfect tree with the perfect decor, I’m doing the bare minimum. And here’s the truth: I’m more than happy to spend my attention and time elsewhere.
7. Not Finding the Perfect Party Dress or Outfit
Truthfully, this is going to be so hard for me. I love showing up to an event with a brand-new outfit, but all I have to do is walk into my closet for that same feeling. I’m mindful of consumerism, especially during the holidays, and truly feel better when I invest in experiences vs. things. I’d rather not spend hours online finding the perfect one only to wear it twice and never again. A bit of a behavior shift, but the theme this holiday season is ease. (And if you’re looking for inspiration from the pieces you already own, just do a closet clean-out. It’ll completely change how you see your wardrobe.)