Prevent Holiday Overwhelm In 3 Easy Steps
It’s almost that time of year again.
Are you stressed out just thinking about it? So much to do, so little time, so much money, so much energy… and all that, on top of your regular life!
More Can Lead to Less
Modern life pressures us to do more, be more, have more, achieve more, connect more, keep up more, succeed more…
… and in the process of always going for “more” we actually create less: less health, less quality time with people we love, less joy, less fun, less spontaneity, less enjoyment, less appreciation… and worst of all, a sense of a lot less of the one precious resource we can never get back: TIME.
Much of the year, we can usually manage okay juggling the job, the kids, the things we ‘should’ be doing (exercise, meditation, sleep, working on our goals, etc.), keeping up with social media, fun, chores… but throw in the holidays and whammo, we're one candy cane away from being a tired, grumpy and stressed out mama (or papa)!
Anxiety goes up with overwhelm. So does mediocrity. So does resentment of committing to things you really wish you didn't have to do. So does that awful “I don’t want to get out of bed because it’s all too much to deal with” feeling. That can create a no-fun very bad stressed-out day!
I used to get overwhelmed by self-imposed pressure of doing it all and getting it all done. Now I have a better strategy.
How to Get Through the Holidays With a Smile On Your Face
Want to know my secret to getting it all done over the holidays?
I’ve become quite good at saying “no” (sweetly and politely of course) and ignoring whatever isn’t a priority. I disappoint a few people, but I end up with having a lot more time and energy for what lights me up.
I’m crystal clear on what I want. I know what my priorities are. I know my time is limited… I know my energy is limited… I know my mental bandwidth is limited… and I also know from experience that nothing, whether fun or not, ever takes the amount of time and energy I initially budget for it.
So I’ve quit worrying about getting it all done and focus my time and energy on important-to-me stuff.
The world will keep spinning whether I the rest is done or not. I choose "not" because now...
... I have time and energy to keep working toward my goals.
... and I have fun during the holidays.
You can, too!
Here’s what I do to make space for things that are important to me and have plenty of time and energy left over:
1. I make a list once a week of the personal and professional non-negotiables, the things that absolutely positively have to get done on my goals (or I will forever be stressed about them). I help this process with a daily MindPT practice. 3 minutes of watching a MindPT session helps me stay focused and enthusiastic about my goals, and that energy carries through to making these goals a non-negotiable priority.
2. I commit to a daily ritual of devoting 15 minutes to each non-negotiable. This takes the ‘over’ out of overwhelm. Whelm, by the way, is a word meaning surge, as in a wave. You might think you won’t get a lot done in 15 minutes, but a focused 15 minutes of no distractions is slow-but-steady progress that gives you a stress-busting sense of grounding and stability - making your 'whelms' smaller - during this hectic time of year.
3. I do the least desirable task first - never in a rush, but always committed to excellence (I hate do-overs), and do the rest in order of least- to most-fun, saving the treat for last... (just one way I keep motivated).
4. I say "No" more often. On a daily basis, “No” is my favorite word until these non-negotiable tasks are completed. No social media, no email, no phone, no texting, no chatting… and definitely no other projects, no matter how shiny. In the bigger picture, I temporarily or permanently jettison activities, obligations and traditions that get in the way. I rarely miss them!
Time is something you can’t save up ‘til later. There will always be more to do tomorrow. You will never get it “all” done - but you can get the meaningful and important stuff done and still keep your sense of joy (and sanity) during the holiday season!
Which MindPT sessions will help you the most during the holidays? I have a couple of personal favorites:
- Peace and Productivity by Dina Proctor
- The Power of Perseverance by me :-)
- Achieving Goals by Kim Serafini
- Mad About Life by Madelaine Vallin
- The Money Keys by the Rev. Karen Russo
You can get these sessions for super cheap by joining the MindPT Monthly Subscription Membership - choose TWO sessions for just $9.95/month! Keep motivated on your goals, and support yourself when and how you need it, anytime, anywhere!