Oh, the holidays are here. Time for gift-giving, holiday meals, gleeful gatherings and oh, what fun it will be!
But first, the chaos. The frantic gift purchase for that uncle you forgot was coming to dinner this year. The fourth trip to the store on Christmas Eve, this time, for tape. The multiple dietary needs one menu must meet causing you to jump through culinary hoops. The shopping, the gift wrapping, the holiday cooking, the dressing up and the overeating - it is all there and exhausting! Unless, of course, you plan ahead.
Let's talk about how you get to control the Holidays, so the Holidays don't control you.
1. Control Your Mindset.
Whether you love Christmas or cannot stand it, you have to get control of your mindset. December 25th is going to come each year, no matter what. People will be surprised and panic, but it doesn't have to be that way. You get to prepare for it now. If you don't like Christmas, that's okay, but acknowledge that and be accepting of it. Decide early on what you want your Holiday Season to look like. Take it a step further, close your eyes, and visualize your perfect Holiday Season.
Now, you may envision ditching the holidays and heading to the Caribbean, but that is not always an option, yet. And that is okay. If your "perfect" holiday is not possible this year, make peace with that now and decide what you hope to see on a realistic level. Perhaps you are hoping for a new car, but you know the budget won't allow for that. Great, now you get to make peace with that and move on. Envisioning your holiday season allows you to plan ahead and get your mind in the game.
2. Make a List of Your Stressors.
These are the things that push your buttons and raise your stress level. Maybe you have a bunch of family members coming into town. You don't know what to do with them, and you don't even like some of them. That's okay; put them on the list. Maybe it is the money you will have to spend over the holidays. Maybe your stress factor is all those extra parties and things that happen over the holidays. Maybe for you, it is travel or overeating that has you concerned. There are so many different stressors for different people, but the thing is, if we don't acknowledge them, we can't deal with them.
3. Block 50 Minutes a Week for Planning.
This is one solid block of time. It can be Sunday evening or Tuesday afternoon, I don't care when it is, but I want you to block out 50 minutes of time when your phone Is not near you, you are not letting social media run your life, and emails are shut off. This time block is for you to plan something that will make your holidays easier. Maybe you are doing your meal planning. Maybe you are making your list of gifts for the kiddos. Maybe you are making your travel plans. Whatever that looks like for you, block out fifty minutes a week starting in November or when best suits your needs.
4. You Time!
This one is BIG. You need time that is just for YOU to decompress. Maybe that means you are going to the spa for a massage or a mani-pedi. Maybe it means you are curled up in a corner with a good read and warm tea. Perhaps you take time out to go for a drive, but whatever that is for you, do it! Too often, the holiday season swallows our attention leaving us to forget ourselves. We end up ignoring our crucial personal time, and we have no one to blame but ourselves because it is just due to a lack of planning.
5. Gratitude Reminder.
I like this one. What do you have to be thankful for? Many of us do not feel like we have much to be thankful for when we run around doing things for other people. This time of year can be all-consuming, but we get to pause and remind ourselves of something we are grateful for before negativity takes over our mindset. If you are one of those people that does not like Christmas, you can be grateful that it is only one day.
We hope you have the fantastic holiday season that you prepared for! Take note of anything that you don't like over the holidays and reflect on how you can improve or plan for it next year. Happy Holidays and Best wishes in the New Year!
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