My friend Jennifer over at Simply + Fiercely recently invited me to write a post for her blog on how to carve out time for yourself. Read the full post here.

Some say music is the space between notes. Some say the space bar is the most important key on the computer because it gives meaning and rhythm to the other marks on the page. Notice the space between inhaling and exhaling. The margins of your book. The empty slot on your schedule. There is space between where we are and where we want to go. 

We overfill our lives, hoping more will make us feel like we are enough. It takes courage to say no to others and yes to ourselves. During a difficult year, and during the holiday season even more so. Yet we cannot not show up for others when we are exhausted and spread thin. 

I struggle to say no to things. I struggle to prioritize my needs. I struggle to find space in my life to breathe. If you are like me, here are 12 tiny things to try:

1. Choose a time of day, day of the week, week of the month or month of the year and reserve it on your calendar. Don’t fill it with anything extra. When the time comes, check in with your body and being to see what it really needs to be nurtured and rejuvenated.

2. Donate ten things you don’t use. Notice if the extra space you created can inspire you to create space in your calendar, too.

3. Do some journaling around how you spend your time. Who are you with, where are you and what are you doing when you are the most happy? When you have the calmest mind? When you find yourself refreshed and hopeful? Can you take one tiny step to prioritize what came up for you?

4. Keep a wellness calendar, or choose a color on your digital calendar to signal wellness. When you schedule something that is just for you, mark it. When you are feeling most depleted, notice if your wellness calendar is a bit bare.

5. Schedule a chime on your phone for a random time in the day. When you hear the chime, step away from what you are doing and take three slow, full, conscious breaths.

6. Say no to one calendar invite that you know is not necessary and will not bring you joy. In saying no to that, what might you be saying yes to?

7. What do you like to do and where do you like to be when you are by yourself? Can you put alone time on your calendar and protect it?

8. Declare a Nothing Day for you and your family. Stay in your pajamas and hide your screens.

9. Set a bedtime that would help you to wake up feeling rested and stick to it. 

10. Choose a daily activity like applying lotion, drinking a glass of water or washing dishes and do it mindfully and affectionately. Can a simple, repeated task become a time of renewal? 

11. Take some time to look at your weekly calendar. What do you notice? Is how you spend your days how you want to spend your life? 

12. Journal about how you would like to spend your day five years from now. What is one shift you can make now to move toward that self? 

Join me this holiday season embracing the mantra: “Do less, be more.” Together, we can be brave enough to carve out space for ourselves and enjoy more balanced, joyful days.

12 Tiny Things is available for pre-order today!