During some recent coaching sessions, a number of my clients have expressed some dismay at the amount pressure they are under due to the 'ever increasing expectations' being put on them during the festive season. With that in mind, I thought it pertinent to share some stress busting techniques for gaining and maintaining control over the Christmas period:
- Don't have inflated family expectations
We all know the family members who are always able to push our buttons, especially when we’ve made a massive effort to make their Christmas special. Take regular deep breaths and remember they mean well and for those who don’t, well where is it written that you have to invite them next year? Ridding your life of life’s ‘Mood Hoovers’ is the best gift you can give yourself.
- Learn to say ‘No’
You can't please everyone, so why try? This is the season when people tend to throw more parties, arrange more events, make more demands on your time than at any other time of the year. If you don’t want to go to something, just say no, spend your time where you want to not where others think you should – people are so wrapped up in their own worlds that it's unlikely to upset them for long, if at all!
- Don't follow the crowds
This is just common sense: Fighting for parking spots, waiting in long queues, feeling suffocated by the in-a-hurry masses - none of that is conducive to living a calmer life, it simply raises your stress level and wastes your valuable time. Don't hit the shops at peak shopping hours, shop online, visit small local merchants who often gift wrap for free.
- Don't entertain in a way that is more work than fun
We love to cook and have people over, but it really can pile on the pressure especially at this time of year. Don’t be afraid to ask people to bring a side dish or dessert or even a main course and as for the clean-up, learn to say "yes" when your guests offer to help. Four hands in the kitchen gets the job done twice as fast. Or if you want to do everything yourself, choose simple menus – people are coming over to see you, not just to sample your culinary skills.
- Plan, plan then plan some more
One of my favourite sayings is 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' - make lists and have plans - get as much done as early as possible. In my experience, stress can be caused or contributed to by a lack of planning and foresight ie leaving everything to the last minute and not having clear plans.
If you need to transform an area of your life or business or you simply require some clarity around your goals, call us now for a free, no obligation chat about how we can help you.
Have a fabulous Christmas and a prosperous New Year.