Does it feel like you are dragging yourself towards Christmas and the end of year holidays, instead of excitedly anticipating its arrival?
Do you feel like December is flying by and it feels like you haven’t taken a breath?
And is your to do list is getting longer and longer by the day?
L.E.A.D.I.N.G is our Christmas gift to you. We are gifting you with a few tips for minimising stress, maximising enjoyment and just diving in as you lead into Christmas.
Look for gold
Look for the little things people are doing right (instead of wrong)! The closer we are to people, the easier it is to pick up on their shortcomings – “see they did it again”. Yet, noticing the positive qualities of your mother-in-law or your black sheep uncle might just make your day a bit easier!
Keep them realistic. If you know you are going to be exhausted 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 your sister points out the grime – tell her how predictable she is and give her a duster for Christmas!
Ask yourself “what do I want to give, what do I want to enjoy, what do I want to learn?” Get clear on your answers and you’ll be less likely to commit to things that you don’t want to give to, don’t enjoy doing and don’t learn from. Know what brings you joy, so you’re not focusing on pleasing others!
Decide for yourself
Don’t blame others if you agree to certain commitments. Second to the point above, 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!
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 eggnog doesn’t really help with that…
It is only a two-letter word, yet we don’t say it often enough – especially at this time of year! 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 (or Uncle Phil) 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. Just say no!
Most importantly, 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 get feed, all the kids gifts you must shop for and the food and alcohol to prepare for your Christmas lunch with family. Many people would love to have these problems!
L.E.A.D.I.N.G. 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!