I recently conducted a Facebook poll asking the question ‘Where does your Christmas Stress come from?’ Not surprisingly, the #1 answer was ‘meeting the expectations of others’. For many people, Christmas is a very-stress-fully difficult season of the year. (Personally, I’ve come to notice that the most lasting gift Christmas usually gives me is a few more wrinkles around my eyes. Sigh.) So with less than 5 weeks until the big day, I’ve decided to create a ‘Sanity Clause’; a contract with myself to keep Christmas sane. You might want to consider creating one for yourself too!
The ‘Sanity Clause’
Say No – It’s really ok to say ‘no’ to overspending, over eating and to attending too many events. Personal boundaries like ‘no thank you’ or ‘not this time’ help curb the guilt of Christmas overload.
Give Other’s a Break – Pressuring others to meet your expectations would be a contradiction of point #1. Remember, others face the same Christmas stress you do. Cut them some slack.
Pre-Think Your List – One hour at home (making an accurate, detailed, budgeted list) is worth four in the mall.
Never Mind The Jones’ – Here’s the problem with comparing. You either feel superior (which is pride) or you feel inferior (which is self-defeating). Who cares what the Jones’ are doing? Be yourself!
Enjoy the Moment – While others are laughing, opening gifts, or eating, mentally escape for a moment, like a fly on the wall. Take in what’s happening and how truly blessed you are. Enjoy the moment you worked hard to create.
Step Outside – Plan to go skating, skiing or out for a brisk walk to allow your mind and body some fresh oxygen. It’s amazing how restorative the outdoors can be!
Watch ‘A Christmas Carol’ – An artistic reminder that Christmas is about others. Giving and sharing, loving and caring.
It Won’t Be Perfect – There will be messes, spills, and misunderstandings. Laugh about it and move on.
Turn up Your Christmas Spirit by Singing Out Loud! – Music has healing qualities that go back to biblical times when David played the harp to rid King Saul of a bad spirit. Go for it!!! It’s good therapy!
Be The Person You Want to Be – Replace all your uglyisms, spendifications, substance abusitivities, unreasonableisms, expectaphobias and joymentias with dignity, integrity and generosity. Let Christmas bring out the ‘wonderful’ in you!
Lovingly Signed For My Own Peace of Mind