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Spiritual Advice on Pacing Yourself

This Wednesday kicks off the official crazy holiday season. In the next 60 days we’ve got at least three major holidays, not counting the religious and secular midwinter celebrations like Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. It can be a rushed time, as you work to ration Halloween candy, make travel arrangements, cook huge dinners and then clean up, buy gifts, and squeeze in a party every weekend. It’s time to take Bonnie Raitt’s advice and pace yourself!

Raitt’s therapist told her “You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go.” So find the slowest part of you. Is it your youngest child? Your patience? Or perhaps your need for 8 hours of sleep a night? Whatever it is, honor that part of yourself. Give that part importance by pacing everything according to it. If you need 8 hours of sleep a night, take those hours. Prioritize your daily tasks and if the low priority items are undone at your bedtime, let them go undone. Maybe you need to buy and wrap one Christmas present a week so that your back doesn’t go out on December 21st while you face a mound of unwrapped gifts. Maybe you need to say no to travel. Whatever the slowest part of your life is, let that part set the pace.

My 15 month old needs at least one nap a day, and what with getting her in and out of the car seat, and carrying her (she still doesn’t walk), she is the slowest part of my life. So I plan around that. I shop online, and I hire a babysitter if I need to go out and run errands with great speed. I utilize the pharmacy drive-through. When I run errands with her, I run the essential errands first, so if she gets tired, we can go home. What is the slowest part of your life, and how can you use it to set your pace this holiday season?

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