The holidays are a busy time for everyone, not only are you being pulled in a million directions trying to get your “to do” list done including present buying and holiday-party goings, but during all this craziness you’re also trying to settle yourself and plan for a bright new year. So how do you manage all this? Well if my clients are any indicator – most don’t? Most people are reactionary instead of actionary and this can lead to destructive results, or at least mediocre results without any real movement forward.
My goal for this post is to help you calm the mind and learn how to express all that pent up energy into actionable items and requests that will not only help you handle the holidays better, but be able to split your time up to include caring for yourself and others properly.
Step 1 – Self Care:
Time and time again I hear the same things from my clients, “I’d love to do more stuff for myself but I can’t because I have all this other stuff to take care of for other people!” The funny thing is the more you actually give to yourself the more energy you have to take care of others. The funny bi-product of this is that you actually miraculously seem to have more time for everything too, and this is because your energy is targeted and not scattered. So write a list of five things that help you relax, it can be taking a bath, reading a book, watching a favourite show. And make time to do this daily, and really make sure to enjoy the experience as you go through it.
Step 2 – Manage Expectations:
There are two sets of expectations to manage during the holidays, those expectations of yourself and of others. For yourself give yourself permission to not be perfect and to try your best. You are not going to get it all done, and it won’t be perfect, but it can be done to the best that you can manage. As well, manage the expectations of others. During the holidays it seems like everyone wants a piece of you. So if there are certain requests that are too much for you to complete don’t be shy to ask for help, or say no. When you manage expectations you take out the stress and eliminate the pressure. This then leads to you actually being calm and getting more done.
Step 3 – Write It Out:
A lot of time the stress and craziness that can come with the holidays is because you aren’t focused. You might just be replying to requests, but not managing requests. So to do this write it down first, then review, then decide if you want to take it on. Keep a running tally of requests or things to do on your phone or in a book. This way you can then look at everything you have to do and before you say yes to something you can decide if you can take it on or not. Bonus points if you can organize your list into various areas of your life to further organize for stress relief.
Step 4 – Don’t Give A F*%k:
This might sound incredibly rude, but almost everything in life isn’t as important as we think it is. Eventually it passes and you can resume the next part of your life. So to be able to work with this energy already in place, I suggest you start not giving a f*%k right now. That doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means you don’t care enough to allow what is being requested of you to go above and beyond what you’re willing to give both emotionally and physically – it’s just not worth it.
Step 5 – Centre Yourself:
A lot of the stress and annoyance we feel during the holidays is self-induced. When you feel frazzled you are frazzled. The funny thing is it isn’t a lot of time required to re-centre and focus. There are many things you can do to centre yourself, and everyone has something that will work for them. I suggest to my clients to either write down affirmations that work for them. Or to write a gratitude list. Others have a favourite coffee shop, or place in the city that they visit to re-centre and focus themselves. Whatever works for you make a point to engage in your centred technique whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed to help bring you back to centre.