We are in the homestretch of the 2014 Holiday Season. From my observations around town, listening to my massage therapy clients, and speaking with friends and family, there are a lot of stressed out people clinging to survival and attempting to keep a cool and level head, trying desperately not to become a casualty of the Holiday Busy-ness Rapids.
If I’m being honest, I’ve even felt it under my own skin, trying to make time for everything and everyone, as we cram 6 weeks of activities into a 3week stretch.
The most common question I’m asked these days is, “Are you ready for the Holidays?”, and when I say Yes, people are shocked. Completely flummoxed. To be fair, I haven’t sent any Christmas cards (nor am I), done any baking/attended cookie exchanges (I’m a recovering sugar addict who is sensitive to gluten; there should be a 12-Step for that), my house doesn’t have a single decoration up, nor have I purchased (or wrapped) all of my gifts.
No, I’m not a Grinch. The Holidays just mean something different to me, but I digress…
Holiday Busy-ness Rapids.
I’m not in the habit of losing my head during the holidays, and as such, if I may be so bold and you so accommodating, I would like to share with you my Holiday Survive & Thrive Guide. These tips were hard learned, by yours truly, over the years as I allowed the Holidays to stress me out like nobody’s business. My wish is for them to inspire you this Holiday Season.
Tip 1: Be Yourself
Nobody else in the world has your special brand of Soul Sauce. No one. Be like the old lady in the Frank’s RedHot commercial and put that $h!? on everything! Its really easy to dim yourself and keep yourself a small secret while socializing with family over the Holidays, especially the ones that you don’t even think about the other 364 days of the year, but have to be Homefries with in the month of December. Let your flag fly. Life is too short to live in secret and hiding.
Bonus: Yes, be you! 100% Authentic You. But remember: Don’t argue with fools, unless you want to stoop to their level, cause yourself grief, and be a fool yourself. Sometimes family will press buttons and bait you. Be confident in yourself and what is important to you. Keep your head, Babe!
Tip 2: Own Your Own Traditions
Pay attention to this one: It’s a doozy. Sometimes we participate in holiday activities for the simple fact of “it’s how we’ve always done things”. Take a look at your own traditions and evaluate them. Are you participating in them because those activities bring you great joy and happiness, or are those activities zapping your energy and draining your batteries? It’s okay to not want to continue with old traditions; we all change and different things become important to us throughout life. Too often we are called to action by guilt and obligation instead of happiness and joy. The Holiday cards say “Tis’ the Season”…you get to choose if ‘Tis the Season of Guilt or ‘Tis the Season of Joy. Guilt and Joy can’t occupy the same space.
Bonus: Remember to forgive yourself if you desire to change traditions. Since many of these activities are coming from a place of obligation, it is easy to feel guilty for wanting change. Also, don’t be surprised if you feel friction from some family members. Change isn’t easy for many people. Be compassionate and understanding, and make sure everyone involved understands where you are coming from. Extend grace and help others see the merit in new ways.
Tip 3: Do Unto Yourself as You Would Do Unto Others
Yep. I did that one on purpose. I am going to preface this as I am operating from the standpoint that you, Dear Reader, are not a sociopath, and you aren’t making waves and causing drama in other peoples’ lives. Being the kind, compassionate person you are, it’s in your nature to please others, make them comfortable, and bring joy into their lives. That is awesome! Seriously. I do it too. BUT…..don’t sacrifice yourself and your needs. Don’t go out of your way to do unto others and leave yourself running on fumes. Make sure you have good food. Make sure you get the rest you need, and feel comfortable. Help yourself to entertainment. Take care of your body and mind. Find YOUR joy.
Bonus: When you are operating from a place of energetic abundance, you are going to have so much energy to get your Soul Sauce out there into the world. I kid you not, you will be able to get more done when you are rested and well cared for versus running on empty. Trust me on this one.
There you have it. These 3 tips are harvested from years of experience feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and running on empty during the Holidays. This season is really about connection, joy, and rest. Don’t be swept up in the rapids of endless to-do lists, parties, and people you really have little heart for. My wish for you is one of great Joy, Happiness and Love.
Do you have any Tips you would like to share on how to Survive & Thrive over the Holidays? What keeps your batteries charged and your heart full of joy? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Do you know someone feeling the stress of the Holidays and you think they may benefit from what I’ve shared? Please share this with them, and help inspire them toward a joyful, peaceful heart.