How can there possibly be any stress at this time of year! Children are happier (or is that crankier?), bosses seem nicer (maybe a Christmas bonus is coming?), and life seems easier with Bing Crosby singing in the background about White Christmas’ every where you go.
Maybe that’s not your reality. For most people, it probably isn’t. Maybe most of the time you find yourself saying “falala this!”
It makes me sad to think that we lose sight of what this time of year is all about but the truth is we’re moving at such a fast pace that those important things get lost in the shuffle.
Our expectations about this time of year can leave you feeling like you fall short. Expectations have a way of making you feel like you don’t measure up, and disappointment rears its ugly head.
When expectations collided with our reality, we can find ourselves over-eating, easily irritated and constantly frustrated. Here are a few tips to help you with what I call Seasonal Expectations:
First of all, learn that saying “NO” is okay to do. We get so stuck on what we should be doing that we lose ourselves in the chaos. The added stress of those feelings that the Holidays bring just aren’t worth it. Do what you have to do to keep yourself sane and that usually means saying NO to family, friends, co-workers, commitments at your childs school, functions at church, community gatherings….the list could go on and on.
Secondly, only do the things that make sense to you and that bring joy to you. Be with the people that you love and do the activities that you really want to do. When you do that, you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re doing and the participation doesn’t seem so laborious or overwhelming.
Third, and finally, take charge of those things you can control. Be deliberate about keeping yourself mentally, spiritually and physically healthy. Take a 10 minute brisk walk. Choose to eat well. Pray. Be in the moment (that’s hard sometimes) and stop fretting about the next moments. Read a good book, watch a good movie, have dinner with a friend, attend a church service, take an aunt and uncle out to lunch, instead of shopping - walk twice around the mall.
I saw a quote recently that I pass on to you. It’s a reminder to put things in perspective - especially during this ‘happy’ time of year.
"You owe it to yourself to find your own unorthodox way of succeeding,
or sometimes, just surviving."
So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and then we can move on to Valentines Day (just another celebration with more expectations)!!