Overcommitment and guilty obligation are rampant during the holiday season.
It doesn't have to be that way though! Each of us has the power to choose how we respond.
To keep my sanity I've found I need a framework to help me decide what to give my energy to and what to pass on.
When I feel obligated to take on yet another thing, I put pressure on myself to say YES because I feel I SHOULD do it. Often there's pressure externally as well not disappoint someone or look ungrateful if I decline.
When this happens I need to have my criteria for an ABSOLUTE YES in place.
If giving my energy to the request is not an ABSOLUTE YES, then it’s a NO. Telling others NO can be hard and I may need to find the courage, support, chutzpah - or all three - to carry out it out.
But the space created when I stick to my framework is huge and so much healthier than trying to do everything!
I know for myself and from my clients how difficult saying NO is and the holidays really put this to the test.
Often in these situations we start comparing ourselves to what others are doing and it destroys our creativity, joy, energy, and self-acceptance. If there’s one thing you give up in 2017, let it be comparison!
Let go of what you think you SHOULD do, and tune into your authentic self to find what is an ABSOLUTE YES for you.
Here are some questions that have been meaningful in creating my own framework.
What do I love most about this time of year?
What are the most meaningful parts of our family traditions?
Who do I really value spending time with?
Reevaluating each year has brought me closer to the soul-nourishing aspects of the season while reducing the hype. Many things have shifted or disappeared in our holiday line-up while others have grown richer over time because we weren't trying to do everything. Here are a few that have been significant.
The end of the year can be enjoyable, relaxed, and meaningful, with the focus on quality time and gratitude instead of on racing through events and accumulation of goods if we're intentional.
You deserve to enjoy this beautiful season of light and love - and your family deserves to have you at your best.