It’s THAT weekend – the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend where your neighbors are vying for the most holiday lights, the earliest and the best on the block. It’s THAT weekend that starts with Black Friday, which actually happens on Thursday, but you don’t notice because you are in a turkey-induced tryptophan haze. It’s a weekend with Small Business Saturday and Doorbuster Sunday, followed by Cyber Monday, Tuesday, and ONLY “X” number of days to get your holiday shopping completed. But what is this really? It’s decision time.
How you feel going into the holidays is completely within your control – and it starts with a decision.
How do you want to feel going through the holidays? Hectic, frazzled, and completed stressed out? Or would you rather choose feelings of control, appreciation, joy, and contentment? Well, good news, this is up to you.
We often buy into the hectic mix of the holiday “hustle and bustle,” and you can hustle your bustle all you want, but let’s take some control over this so that it feels better.
There comes a time where you have to decide whether it’s worth turning the page, or closing the book.
With the holidays come many things that disrupt our everyday flow and events- it's no wonder so many people are stressed out! Holiday parties, shopping, crafting, decorating, baking, cooking, card-writing, get-togethers, potlucks, and the list goes on. These add-on activities aren’t just here and there, they are everywhere, non-stop. Throw in the pressures of keeping up with the Jones’ light show, spending more money within a month than you spend all year, and the fact that every car advertiser makes you want to believe that you should have a shiny new luxury car with a big red bow sitting on your snowy driveway, and it can make for an overwhelming bunch of emotions- and chaos. But there is GOOD news!
In the midst of chaos, stillness resides in you.
How you think about the holidays, especially right now, at the onset, can shift your entire experience over the next month plus.
Layout a game plan. Going into the holidays with the big picture in mind and specific goals and objectives can greatly minimize feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. How do you want to feel is the most important question that you can ask, because from that we can lay out goals to achieve these feelings. It's much easier than saying, "I'm not." Instead you get to say "I'm choosing contentment and I'm doing that by doing this."
Budget everything. Budget your time, your gifts, and seasonal foods. Your thoughts determine how you will feel, so if you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by excess everything, decide not to be. Decide how this season is going to be for you. Take back your power and control.
If you don’t want to come out of the holidays 10 pounds heavier, thousands of dollars poorer, and sapped of all of your energy, there is a point where something has to give.
Decide now what can be minimized or left out. Do you have to mail Christmas cards to everyone you’ve ever known? Or maybe you just send to a few of your dearest family members or friends that you won’t be seeing.
Do you have to have the most impressive holiday lights? Or maybe just a few festive lights will suffice?
Do you need to buy everyone at the office a gift? How about baking a tray of cookies for the office?
Some things may be important to invest time in and others, not so much. Decide that no matter what you choose to fit into your schedule that you are doing so because you see the value in that activity. There are no victims of circumstance, there are only victims of poor choices. Choose wisely and with intent and purpose to feel empowered and in control of how you are going to feel about the outcome of these holidays.
This should be a time of joy, happiness, and peace on earth. All of these are within your power to have and achieve. The circumstances around you will keep on churning. The chaos will keep whirling, but your inner peace is just one thought away – and it starts with “I choose….”
Happiness is a choice that at times requires effort. Where will your efforts reside this holiday season? Be miserable, or motivated. Everything always begins with a choice. Make it yours.
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.