Here’s a bit of permission to treat yourself over the holidays

Takeaway: This year, try giving yourself a non-material gift. Three ways to do this: think about something in your life that’s missing; look at the habits you want to pick up again; and take your vacation days or use up your benefits.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes, 57s.

Podcast Length: 15 minutes, 17s (link to play podcast at the bottom of post).

Happy holidays, everybody! We’re nearing the end of a weird year, and the thing we might be celebrating the most is the fact that 2020 is almost over. If you’re anything like us, this December looks a little different.  

Normally we’d be bouncing around between parties with inlaws and friends. While that’s not happening this year, there are still ways to treat yourself over the holidays. I’m not talking about physical gifts—I’m thinking about all the intangible gifts you can give yourself in order to get the most out of the days to come.  

For example, I’m giving myself the gift of disconnection. For a week over Christmas, I’m deliberately disengaging from all things online—turning on my email autoresponder, changing my social media passwords, and putting my phone in Grayscale mode to make it less appealing.  

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit this year refreshing Twitter and watching YouTube videos. With this gift, I’m giving myself permission to be bored. If you can’t think of the last time you were in this state, then this might be a good gift for you, too. 

Here are a few ways to approach finding what gift to give yourself: 

  • Think about something in your life that’s missing or has fallen to the wayside. Maybe you really enjoyed taking a brisk morning stroll at the start of the pandemic. The holidays are a great time to re-examine and reset.  
  • Look at habits you want to double down on. You don’t have to wait until the new year to change your habits and routines. Try spending some time reflecting on what these habits are and then start them up again. 
  • Take vacation days or use up your benefits. Don’t let these go to waste! The end of the year is when the clock chimes midnight on many benefits packages and vacation days. If you’re able, take some days off over the holiday and relax.  

Whatever gift you end up giving yourself, we hope you have a safe holiday season and can start off the new year feeling refreshed and re-energized. You deserve it! See you after the holiday! 

P.S. – if you listened to the podcast and want the sweet potato mash recipe Ardyn mentioned, here it is :-) 

Written by

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity, and is the author of two books: Hyperfocus, and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in 20 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site, and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive, without hating the process.

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