What do the Holidays mean for you?
Memories of unfulfilled expectations?
Good times or bad?
- Reduce expectations of other people and yourself. Trying to expect other people to make you happy or act the way you want is setting you up for failure. Being responsible for others happiness is just as exhausting and futile. You must allow people to feel the way the want to. That doesn’t mean you need to be abused or attacked. Let go of the ways things were. Honor the past and create your future.
- Let go of perfection – No one cares as much as you do. If people are going to judge or not like you because you didn’t fill their expectations, then you need to examine that. Why do you need to be perfect? How critical are you of others? Do you feel you’re not good enough if you didn’t do all of this?
- Be Realistic and Manage time – You don’t need to go or do everything. Learn to say No. Learn to create boundaries. If you aren’t comfortable with this, it will seem hard at first and may upset others. Remember, others are trying to satisfy their needs not yours. Practice saying no in the mirror 20 times. Ask yourself why you feel you need to say yes to others. If you don’t manage your time well you will become cranky, angry, or anxious. Is that what you want others to see?
Extra Tips for De-stressing
- Gift giving: Our culture has been brainwashed to buy, buy, buy. We are seduced by the onslaught of advertising. Make a budget and stick with it. If you can pull names for gift exchange or make a cap to each gift, then the pressure is reduced.
- Get Support: Delegate chores. You don’t need to do it all alone. Share the cost and work by asking others to bring food, alcohol. Pass on the holiday cards or pick out the most important people on your list. Start early and make a list of everything you want to get done and put it on a time line of what needs to be done by when.
- Start new traditions and memories – If you aren’t happy with the way things are then start creating the way you want them. Being stuck, feeling obligated, or longing for new memories takes effort. If you could create fond memories what would they look like? (If you have kids what values do you want to instill in them about the holidays? Is it all about getting things or exploring a new option)?
- Reflect and give gratitude – Look back on the year to see what you have done and who you’ve been. Are you living deliberately and authentically or are you caught up on what others think of you? Learn to forgive others for not being able to live up to your needs and start becoming your own best friend. The more you judge others the more critical you are with yourself. Be grateful for what you have no matter how small. Don’t beat yourself up. Set intentions to what you want your life to look like.
- Take a break – Breath, laugh, listen to music, enjoy animals and get into nature. These activities are the best free medicine. They help the body to release endorphins and balance the bodies biochemistry. By engaging in these you will actually be more productive, less stressed and be able to show up relaxed and you will be more enjoyable to be around.
- Let go of being right or convincing others – You can’t change people. Learn to listen and respect others differences. If they don’t respect you then it’s time to re-think where you spend your time. Be that which you want the world to be. Teach by example. It is the only way.