How to Navigate the Holidays
Yep, it's already started! I was in Kohls department store Sunday November 4th and they had Christmas music playing. Seriously? We haven't even eaten the Thanksgiving turkey yet!
Granted, I hate to shop so for all I know Christmas music may have been playing for weeks now. And have you noticed the Christmas commercials have started too?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but it is such a busy time that I feel like we completely loose the cozy, snuggle up, nostalgia of it all. Not to mention the more important aspects like the spiritual side and being really present with family & friends.
Somehow it all seems to get lost in the expectations of what presents to buy, what we can and can’t eat, going to parties, hosting parties, what to wear for said parties, the myriad of church services and activities… shall I go on?
I remember when I was little, my Mom and Dad would take my brother and I to the mountains in southern Colorado. We would hike around in the snow that was up to our knees to find just the right Christmas tree. My Mom wanted the prettiest one and we always had a beautiful tree.
I didn’t really care what the tree looked like, it was just fun to be with my family playing around in the snow. Then we would take it home and get all the decorations out. I loved looking at all those glittery, shiny balls and reminiscing about the homemade ornaments.
Another favorite memory was spending time with my husband’s family. It was always at his parents house on the farm in Iowa. We would all gather - all 30-40 of us in one house. Okay yes, that made me a little crazy being the introvert that I am. However, looking back I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world.
We sat around the huge tables and ate and ate and did I mention eat? And then the desert table came out! Yes we had to have a very large table just for the deserts. We played endless rounds of cards, games and went ice fishing. We just hung out with each other. We sang christmas songs together before opening presents. The grandkids would put on their dress up costumes and present their best rendition of the Christmas story of Jesus.
But then life changes. We grow up, our parents die, grandkids grow up and start having families of their own. And somehow we can loose what matters most because life gets busier. Expectations get higher, time slips away. By the time January 1st rolls around we look back and can hardly even remember the holidays.
What’s the point of walking down memory lane you ask? Because I want you have the best holiday season ever this year and perhaps give you some tools to help your experience.
Can we stop the madness, the business of how the world around us does the holiday season? No. But we can stop the madness inside of us, thus changing how we navigate the season.
So here ya go. I have a few questions, a challenge and an opportunity for you.
Question #1: Are you already feeling stretched way too thin and the thought of going through another holiday season makes you want to run away and hide?
Question #2: Do you long for the just some space to breathe and just be present with what matters most this season?
Question #3: Are you willing to change things up a bit? Old routines, habits or thought processes?
If so, then here is your challenge. Choose one thing you want to change this season. Here are some suggestions to draw from. I challenge you to choose just one and make it your own.
The old way: If your normal is to tell yourself, why even try to eat healthy, Thanksgiving is coming up and then it’s downhill from there. I’ll jump on the healthy eating, loose weight train January 1st - AGAIN!.
The new way (the change you’re going to implement) Give yourself permission to eat what you want, but be mindful about how MUCH you are eating. Instead of 3 servings of dessert just choose 1. Instead of choosing a double eggnog, pumpkin spice, chocolate, carmel latte :) choose black coffee with some cream. Be mindful about what you really want and then don’t beat yourself up for it. The guilt can exacerbate the problem and make us go back for those 3rd and 4th helpings
The old way: Is your expectation to buy something for everyone including all the grandkids, all the cousins, all the friends, all the staff, all the co-workers? Is its causing you not only financial debt but a deficit of time and space thus causing a high level of stress and anxiety?
If so, then take some time to think about why you feel like you have to over spend and /or buy everyone a gift. Is it people pleasing? Is it expectations? Is it a fairness issue? I.E. They spent $30 so I have to spend that much or more because if I don’t they will think I’m a… you fill in the blank.
The new way: Choose differently. This might mean you have to set some boundaries. Make a list of the people who you honestly and authentically want to show love to by giving them a gift. NO expectations, no fairness, no guilt. Then choose to buy or make their gifts.
Make a list of people who you honestly & authentically want to remember but you really don’t want to buy them a gift. What else can you do to still show your love? Send a card? A letter of gratitude or appreciation?
Okay enough for now. I will be expounding on this throughout the holiday season giving you more tools, new perspectives and ideas. Why? because I care about you. I care about your stress level. I care about you not loosing yourself in the midst of all the hubbub.
Please remember, if you need help and a break from the craziness out there this season I have an amazing coaching offer waiting for you when you are ready. It will help you step fully in to who you are and enjoy a more peaceful, less stressful holiday season.
All you need to do is just give me a call/text or email and we can set up a free 30 minute session to go over the details.
Till next time!