A Little Happier: During the Busy Holidays, Create Time for Quiet and Rest.

During the busy holiday season, when we’re spending a lot of time with family and friends, it can be particularly important to find ways to get some restorative silence and calm.

Have you learned any great hacks for getting some quiet over the holidays?

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Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


Happier listening!

  • Mimi Gregor

    I think the key here is to institute “quiet time” and time for exercise before the holidays roll around. That way, it’s already a part of your day, and the more people that know about this habit of yours, the more they will respect your boundaries around it. For instance, I can identify with your dad and his need for a nap. My husband works evenings and gets to bed late, so a nap after lunch is crucial for him. I get up ungodly early, so by the early afternoon, my energy is flagging, and a nap is very restorative for me. So after lunch is our regular nap time. The phone gets turned off, so no one can disturb us. When I have to miss nap time for some reason, I get as cranky as a toddler, and usually get sleepy way too early in the evening. I really look forward to these siestas, and they make me more productive because I don’t peter out too early to get anything done later.

    After siesta is my exercise time. By using the strategy of pairing, I associate it with just what I do after my nap, so I don’t think twice about whether I want to or not, or have time to… I just do it.

  • Cathryn

    Thanks for doing these short recordings. I never get around to listening to the half hour ones but a little five minutes here and there is much more manageable.

    • gretchenrubin

      It’s great to hear that you enjoy them!

  • Jessica Feldmann

    Rather ironic that I put this idea into practice and then listened to this little happier episode. Last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and my in-laws (whom I love!) all together for the first time. My husband and I live far away and don’t often get to participate in large family holiday gatherings. He is an introvert and i work from home all day so am accustomed to a lot of quiet time. Needless to say being around that many people for an extended weekend can get us both on edge and exhausted. So, we offered to do the morning grocery run one morning and it was like a mini vacation from our vacation, to just spend time the two of us in the car ride and the store was empty at that hour too! We came back refreshed and ready to face the busy day ahead.

  • I love this because I am definitely someone that needs quiet time. In fact, I stopped listening to the radio on my way to/from work because I needed more quiet time.

  • As an introvert with extroverted family members, I really need quiet time at extended gatherings, but sometimes it can be hard for other people to understand that. A lot of times, in the evenings, I get the “why don’t you want to spend time with us by playing X board game?” when I’d really prefer to read. It’s tough!