6 Tips To Stay Sane This Christmas
My house is a mess. And the familiar holiday stress is building as Christmas fast approaches.
I have hardly done any Christmas shopping, and my “to do” list is out the door. I’m noticing my neighbor’s Christmas lights look much better than mine and I’m debating if I should add a few more strands outside.
I find I’m comparing my family to the Facebook images of the “fun” families and feeling pressure to do the things that “fun” families do. And the Christmas cards? When is there time for that?
In the moment creating family fun, baking cookies and buying Christmas gifts feels a lot more like work than it does fun.
This internal stress filled dialogue happening in my head has led me to hit the pause button, step back and reflect.
What messages am I believing that is causing me this stress?
What really matters to me this time of year?
How can I experience greater joy?
What is my vision for Christmas?
So I decided to write myself a Christmas vision with the intention that it might speak to you as well. This list is my journal entry, a reflection of what I want to remember and focus on this time of year.
6 tips to stay sane this Christmas:
Cancel the performance.
Who am I doing this all for anyway? My kids, my spouse, friends or neighbors; the image of what I think Christmas ‘should’ look like?
The holidays are not about the show – it’s not about performing, perfecting, or getting all caught up in spending so much money and trying to make everyone happy. And, it’s not about having it all together or forcing what I believe the “perfect” family does.
It’s about cancelling the show and choosing something so much better.
Believe your presence is the best gift you can give.
Tune in. Listen. It’s not the presents you buy your loved ones that show them how much they mean to you.It’s your presence and how you show up that matters. It’s about acceptance and allowing your loved ones to be themselves; where they’re at, even if you don’t particularly like it. It is not about forcing an agenda or trying to change them in anyway.
If you notice your overly busy, anxious or distracted return to the moment and choose to appreciate what is right there in front of you.
Celebrate and have fun!
Rather than “have to” do this or that, have fun! Commit to no pressure. Choose to do what you want to do. Leave the rest. If you don’t want to send Christmas cards, take it off the list! Who cares?
And, you don’t have to bake cookies! I choose to bake cookies because I love to! Feel the difference?
Take 10 to be still.
Creating a mindful space to be quiet during this busy season will help you to savor and enjoy it.
Sit down for a while with a cup of tea. Read a good book, practice silence and solitude; sit in front of the fire, pray. Ditch the Facebook comparisons and write down what you are grateful for. Reflect on what Christmas and your faith mean to you.
Take time to slow down and be still.
Trust there is abundance.
Often you find yourself feeling as if there isn’t enough time. Comfort yourself with the reminder that there is plenty of time to get everything done. No rushing around. No need to panic. You can ask for help if you need it. It will all get done.
When you cancel ‘the show’ more space opens up. There is enough of everything. You don’t need to max out the credit cards to make everyone happy. There is enough love to go around.
Be gentle with yourself and embrace acceptance.
There are things that you wish were different. The holidays have a way of reminding you of this fact. This can be painful. That’s okay. These are your feelings. You don’t have to take on all that isn’t right in the world or your family. Be kind and gentle with yourself. When you’re kind to yourself, you’re able to give this to your spouse, your children and others.
You can take care of yourself when you are feeling sad and ask yourself what you might need – a hug, a warm bath, a phone call to someone who understands. You can also celebrate what is good. Focus on the blessings and gratitude.
The holidays aren’t really about the presents, the performance or perfection. Christmas is about showing up and giving your loved ones the gift of your presence. Slow down. Be still. Be kind to yourself. Reflect on what this season means to you. Have faith that love abounds and you have all that you need. Take in the love. Give it freely and unconditionally.
For today, I’m going to bask in the warmth and abundance of this season. I’m going to ask myself, “What will feel good to me today?”
Today I will choose what really matters. I will be present. Connect. Accept. And enjoy the moment. How about you?