The holidays are upon us and that means stress levels, for many, are at an all time high and rightly so. Check out the list of things we add to our already heavy workloads…
- gift shopping
- gift wrapping
- writing holiday cards
- preparing for hosting or visiting relatives
- planning and shopping for holiday meals
- holiday tree shopping
- decorating our homes inside and out
- attending and/or hosting holiday parties
No wonder people feel exhausted after the holidays! At this point, you have about 2 weeks left of this crazy season. What you do next will determine if you collapse to the ground in exhaustion after the holiday break or rebound feeling refreshed and ready for the new year. With that in mind, here are three steps you can take to finish the holiday season strong.
Reassess Your To Do List
Most of us do any or all of the activities I listed above because it’s what we grew up with, because its what the neighbors do, because it’s what the rest of the family expects, and/or because we think this is what we should do to create a memorable holiday for ourselves and our family. In other words, we do these things out of habit. This means we are at the mercy of our habitual patterns rather doing what invigorates us and brings out our very best. So let me ask you, is it really worth getting the things done on your list if you feel exhausted at the end of the holiday season? How does that affect everyone around you?
If we’re exhausting ourselves, we cannot give to others the way we would like. It just doesn’t work that way. We have to do what makes us feel happy and inspired and in so doing we can then be in “good spirits” for those we love. Knowing that, here are three important steps to take.
1. Take a look at anything left on your holiday “to do” list and notice which ones feel overwhelming or exhausting. Chances are they are still left on the list because you’ve been putting them off or because they are just plain daunting. Put a star next to those that you have not done and feel overwhelmed by. Perhaps they just feel boring or annoying. The point being, notice and notate the “to do” items that feel draining rather than uplifting.
2. Ask yourself, how could I make those things feel more energizing and fun? For example, I blocked off 4 hours on my calendar to write Christmas cards. I turned on some holiday music, brewed myself some coffee, picked a spot in front of the window to watch the snow and wrote messages in each card telling people how much they mean to me. Perhaps it was sharing a special memory of them from my childhood. Perhaps, it was something they said that made me feel better. My focus was on making sure each of them knew that they were an important person in my life. By the end of the 4 hours, I felt very uplifted. I couldn’t wait to finish the few I had on my list!
3. Be open to crossing things off your list all together. I know that goes against the grain of what you’ve come to know as important for the holidays. But let’s focus on quality of what you’re giving rather than quantity. If you’re goal is to create a positive and memorable holiday for your friends and family, put your attention on the 1 or 2 things you can do to create that experience for them and choose the ones that you love doing most. Decide which things on your list are simply not worth the price you pay to get them done. Your time and energy is a precious commodity. Spend it wisely and you’ll see greater rewards in your quality of life.
If decorating the outside of the house so that everybody “ooo’s” and “aah’s” when they drive by makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then do that. When you feel uplifted, your holiday spirits will be much higher and everyone will notice that. It will raise their spirits too.
Another benefit… when you choose the items on your list that uplift your spirits, you’ll come out on the other side of this holiday season feeling refreshed and ready for the new year. This does mean that you’ll need to cut away the things that are burning you out and exhausting you but the good news is that you get to give in your own special way that feels energizing and fun and everyone will benefit, especially you.
For other tips like this or to learn how to rid yourself of stress permanently so you can live life to the fullest, visit my website at www.danielleisaac.com.