It’s the holidays and, for most of us, that means invitations to get together with family, friends, coworkers and others in our communities. We may be hosting a gathering ourselves, or having family and friends coming to spend a few days. Add holiday decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and card sending to the list and, along with work and daily life – you have the makings of a holiday season meltdown.
I’ve had one or two of those over the years, but I haven’t in quite a while and today I wanted to share why. I’m going to invite you to do one simple thing for yourself this holiday season – take one thing off of your plate every week for the rest of December.
That’s it – simple. Take a look at your calendar for the remainder of December and do just that one thing – decide on just one thing you can let go of, and take it off the schedule. Why am I suggesting this?
Especially during the holidays, we often feel that we have to say “yes” – yes to invitations, and other requests for our time and energy. If a request to help with the annual Holiday Brunch is something you really want to accept, great, go for it. But if it’s something that you feel obligated to do because, well, you’ve always done it, I invite you to reconsider.
Here are a couple questions to ask yourself when deciding what to let go of:
- What are my most important values and priorities this holiday season?
- Will this invite or activity align with those values and priorities?
The reason those two questions are important is because they ask you to become aware. We often get caught up in the holiday rush and forget to pause and consider what we want to do, what is meaningful to us. My most important priority during the holidays is spending time with family and friends. It’s also important to me to contribute in some way to others who may not be in a position to enjoy the season fully. Keeping those two things in mind makes it pretty simple for me to decide what I want to participate in.
I recognize that it’s not always easy, though. We all want to be there for others, participate, not hurt someone’s feelings, etc., so we say yes and then end up feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes we simply struggle with saying no. That’s why I’m recommending you take off just one thing. If you look at what you have scheduled for any given week, I’ll bet just about anyone can find one thing they can let go of to give themselves a bit of breathing room.
The reason I know this works is because I do it myself, not just during the holidays, but all the time. If I look at my week and see something that’s not serving me, or something that my heart is just not into, off it goes. Most of the time I realize it wasn’t that important for me to do, anyway.
But sometimes I have to gear up my courage and say no. The gift in that is that I get to put my time and energy where it belongs, in what feels true to me. The more I do this, the more my life reflects who I really am, my authentic self. When I’m present for something or someone, I’m really present, not thinking about someplace else I could be.
Over and over, research shows that the most important factor in living a good life is relationships, connecting with others. Don’t forget your relationship with yourself. If you get in alignment with your most cherished values this season, I guarantee you’ll create a wonderful holiday for yourself and those you love.
I would love to hear any additional thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below – I’ll be sure to respond.
Stay cozy and have a wonderful Holiday!