Does it ever feel like you are being dragged towards Xmas rather than excitedly anticipating it?
Does it feel like the days are counting down as fast as a runaway train with no stops to get off and draw breath?
And the “to do” list is growing like a Santa on steroids rather than getting smaller?
“Leading into Xmas”, what does this mean?
Leading is about taking personal responsibility and ownership for your actions, thoughts, feelings and choices. ….
So here are a few tips for minimising stress, maximising enjoyment and just diving in as you lead into Xmas:
Look for Gold – Catch others doing it right instead of wrong for a change! The closer we are to people, the easier it is to only have our radar up for their shortcomings “see they did it again”. Yet, noticing the positive qualities of your mother-in-law or that god-awful uncle might just make your day a bit easier!
Expectations – keep them realistic. If you know you will be a worn out mess by the time company arrives if you spend the two days beforehand getting the place spotless, then let it be a little dusty….and if you know, by doing this, that your favourite sister will point out the grime, then celebrate how she always shows up so predictably….and give her a duster for Xmas!
Ask – ask yourself “what do I want to give, what do I want to enjoy, what do I want to learn?” If you are clear on the answers you are less likely to commit to things that you don’t want to give, don’t enjoy doing and don’t learn from. If you don’t know what pleases you, all you will do is focus on pleasing others. Try for the AND/BOTH
Decide for yourself – Don’t blame others if you agree to certain commitments. If you choose to do something, then really choose it. In other words if someone asks you to dance and you say yes, then don’t slouch on the dancefloor and sulk with eyes down, really cut a rug out there!
Instinct – When all else fails, ask “what is my heart telling me”. Instincts are your best fall-back especially when emotions are high and the cognitive part of your brain has turned to mush! Oh and the egg-nog doesn’t really help with that…
No! – It is only a two letter word yet many of us must think it has four letters we are so reticent to say it. To say no is not to blaspheme, to say yes when you mean no is the most blasphemous act you can do to yourself and others. So it might be “no, lets catch up after new year” to the constant request of “lets catch up before Xmas”. It might be “no I really don’t want any more wine” to the pressure from Uncle John to “come on just have another glass”. Or “no, I just want some down time this afternoon” to the request to attend yet another social get-together. Stop swearing and just say no!
Gratitude – when all else fails, be grateful for what you have. “I felt anxious that I had no shoes until I met the man with no feet”. Be grateful for having so many windows to get clean in time for Xmas, for the 20 family members you have to feed, all the kids gifts you must shop for and the food and grog you have to prepare. Many people would love to have these problems!
LEADING with the above tips may not make your holiday season one completely free of stress and disappointment, but it will give you more power over the amount of stress you are willing to take on…and, if it doesn’t, at least you only have yourself to blame!
….and now to go and do my best to practice what I preach…
Have a great holiday season?