Do the holidays bring out the "B" word?
Or perhaps we have just moved on to beyond-busy where sleep and sanity are optional?
Between the aftermath of the election, holiday stress, and wrapping up end of year activities at work the mood barometer has plummeted. I am sure I am not the only one feeling moments of cra-cra.
Signs the holidays are driving you bat shit crazy...
Holiday mood busters:
Are you feeling so stressed right now, that you are not even sure you have time to read this article?
In an effort to create the most joyful holidays for children or keep peace with extended family members- you are a sponge for negative energy? Your holiday to-do lists are just added activities on top of your job and caring for family.
Stressed spelled backwards...
You find yourself asking where is the joy? Maybe you can try to find it at the bottom of the box of holiday colored chocolates or the wine bottle a co-worker gifted you.
Holiday strategic planning:
Let's talk strategy. You wouldn't walk into a meeting with your board members or battle without a strategy. The holiday season is no different. Mindset matters, and if you choose to shift out of stress, let's discuss five steps to help you move forward to feeling more dazzled this holiday season.
1. Frazzled or Dazzled?
Check your emotional pulse before every invitation. Does the thought of attending a holiday neighborhood cookie baking party dazzle you with delight? How about addressing 117 Christmas cards?
Dazzled: Do a gut check. If a task feels joyful, relaxing, or like a warm bonding experience- put it on the dazzle list.
Frazzled: If an invitation or task feels like yet another item on a growing to-do list, then it belongs on the frazzle list.
We are asked to do so much during this holiday season, that we can easily forget to take a pause, check in with ourselves (and our schedules) and then make an emotionally informed decision.
2. Sleep is sacred; Schedule it
Let us repeat this out loud and together, "sleep is sacred."
Parties, shopping, gift wrapping, and work deadlines are not an excuse to take sleep off the schedule. Losing sleep will make the hang-over worse, promote weight gain, and increase the brain's frazzle meter. Focusing on this one issue for my clients has often been the one key to restoring joy during the holidays. Can you pick one day to sleep in? If there is a time to practice digital detox before bedtime, it is now.
3. Let it go
(without having to watch Disney's "Frozen" for the 112th time with your child)
In an ideal world, if your holiday schedule is full it is wise to decrease work load or other commitments. If this is not possible, I am going to ask you to let go of one item on your to-do list. I decided to skip sending out holiday cards this year, and the tension in my shoulders instantly released. Clearly addressing over 100 holiday cards was an item on the frazzle list. With an increased number of invitations to holiday parties and speaking engagements, I cut down on networking meetings and office hours. What can you let go of? I give you permission, just let it go.
4. The Triple D list
The Triple-D list is an exercise that brings instant relief from high-stress levels. Take thirty minutes to write down 10-15 tasks that have to be done by the end of the week.
Put them now in one of 3 categories: "do-it" "Delegate it" or "ditch it".
If you are feeling guilty around a task, chances are it belongs on your delegate or ditch list, and you have attached unnecessary emotions to the task. Everything on your "do-it" list should be a necessity for life or bring you joy.
5. Just breathe.
Breathe. I even noticed that as I typed this blog article, my jaw is clenched, and I have not mindfully inhaled or exhaled in the last few minutes. It is not uncommon when we are focused on work over our computer, we hold our breath.
Take a breath break. NOW.
It is as simple as closing your eyes anywhere (except while driving), inhale to the count of 3, hold the breath for one, and exhale to the count of four. Focus on the counting and repeat this cycle for 3 minutes. The frazzle meter in your emotional center of the brain will be turned off.
May your holiday season dazzle your soul,
Your Homie Dr. Romie