The holiday season has already kicked off in force this week – tis definitely the season! And while many of us are super-stoked at spending time with family and loved ones, for others that thought is enough to stress us out instantly!
The best way to ensure a stress-free and healthy holiday season is to establish a Proactive Holiday Boundary Success Plan – so that’s what we’ll be hitting today. In the video below (and in the free download), I go into more detail about the 6 key actions you can take to set healthy boundaries and expectations:
But here is a short summary to make sure festive doesn’t turn into frantic!
6 Simple Action Items to Try:
1. Preparation Time
Create a gift list and budget and stick to it. Decide beforehand what gatherings you will attend and what you will bring (a dish for a potluck, a Secret Santa gift, a nice host/hostess gift.) If you’re heading to a potluck, choose easy, uncomplicated dishes that store well. And don’t over-commit or over-give – make it enjoyable for yourself!
2. Adjust Your Attitude
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Go into the season with the mindset of gratitude.[/tweet_box] Think about all the things that are RIGHT in your life rather than anticipating the worst. Decide that no one has the power to take away your joy. See if you can meditate 10 minutes a day – master the on-the-spot breathing technique by simply inhaling to the count of four and exhaling more slowly to the count of eight, visualizing all tension leaving your body with your breath. Get control of that ‘mafia-mind’ and don’t let yourself get wound up.
3. Keep Your Side of the Street Clean
You are only responsible for how you behave and react in any situation, and what you commit to doing. Don’t waste precious energy on any stressful situation or person. Someone being rude or provocative is about them. You can either choose to respond from an ego place of offense, or you can be generous and have empathy for them. THINK about what you commit to – and don’t make anyone else wrong for asking you to do things…maybe this year is the year YOU decide what’s doable for you.
4. “NO” Is Not a Four-Letter Word
You have the right to say no to anything that will take the joy out of the season for you or your family. If certain family gatherings or family ‘traditions’ create debilitating stress, then give yourself permission to respectfully decline and create new traditions that bring you joy. If you have children, let each one choose an event or party to attend that really matters to them, politely declining the rest. If exchanging gifts with grown siblings is too costly, then speak your truth, and perhaps pull names out of a hat so you are only buying for one person – find a way to bring joy and happiness without overtaxing yourself. Being overburdened financially or emotionally is not fun and definitely sucks the life out of the party.
5. Know When to Say When
Drunks are stressful and boring. This time of year produces many opportunities to overindulge. Limit your consumption so you will be able to enjoy and remember the party, get home safely, and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning. Don’t be the person everyone avoids at the family gathering!
6. Pay It Forward
Remember what the holidays are really about and donate your time to help others who are less fortunate. Volunteering is a wonderful way to teach children the importance of service to others and to keep your head at the heart of what really matters. Also, consider forgiving a grudge you have been holding, helping an elderly neighbor, or going out of your way to communicate your gratitude to the important people in your life. No material gift is as satisfying as truly making a difference.
I hope that some of these ideas help you create the holiday experience you seek, filled with love, light, joy, and laughter.
What are your winning tips on de-stressing this season? Do you need advice on how to handle a particularly challenging holiday scenario? Remember, others are probably experiencing something similar, so be generous and share your wisdom or your struggle right here in the comment section.
Take care of you,
I was going to a coda group and we discussed what to do or not do during the holidays. One of the speakers said that when traveling and staying with family members to remember “After 3 days the fish stink.” It made me laugh but it was a good reminder that maybe one needs to limit how many days you stay under the same roof with some family members or chose to stay in a hotel even if family gripes about it. Just to be able to get away from family for the night and breath can really help.
Totally agree, Suzanna! Less is more in regards to some family members and staying in a hotel can make the whole event feel more like a little vacation! Thanks for being here.