I don’t get in the Christmas spirit. I’m not sure when it started, but Christmas is not my favorite season. My mother and sister love the decorations and gift giving, they love songs and family time. Quite simply, I don’t. I am the family Grinch. I revel in my mundane mood while lounging around in Grinch pajama pants and Grinch shirt drinking from a Grinch cup. I don’t necessarily want others to be miserable, I just don’t want the expectation to be excited. My house is not decorated, no tree is trimmed or holly hung. I have not lit cinnamon candles to bring the Christmas Spirit into the home and there are no fresh baked goods.
I don’t love the Holidays due to stress created during this season by a dysfunctional. Perhaps you are not looking forward to this time because during this year you gained a family that needs juggled, lost someone special, are dealing with an ex-spouse who continues to cause stress through the children. Maybe this was one of “those years” and you are looking forward to it just being over. Or, perhaps you LOVE the season and are feeling stress to have things “just right”.
Wherever your heart and mind are this Holiday season, here are some ways to keep your focus.
- Allow some down time: Many of us get caught up in everything that needs done at the end of the year. This is a busy season and it is easy to let it go by and wonder where time went. Others of us are trying to rush through until New Years so we can try for a new start. In all the rush, excitement and pushes to “better yourself in the New Year” take some time for you. Get away for a cup of coffee, shut yourself in a quiet room for a while and don’t forget your regular recharge time with God. It is essential to get through these last few weeks of the year.
- Make a Plan: Know what you have to do, what would be nice to do, and what can wait. Focus on what needs to get done and find time to delegate other tasks. Make lists on a calendar, sticky note, mirror, whatever works for you to keep your focus on what is most important during this time.
- Know your limits: There are so many ways to over extend yourself during this time of year. Know when to say “no”. There are things that can wait or be pushed aside altogether, recognize these so you can take some down time (see number 1). I am one of those that will say “yes” to everything in order to fill the time. From experience I can say this is not healthy. We don’t want to start the New Year with burn out!
- Remember, it’s not forever: We have exactly 15 days until the end of the year. Take a deep breath and know that you can handle it for 15 more days. Others may not understand your excitement or lack thereof around this time of year. Just remember, take one day at a time and you can get through it.
- Take time to grieve: This is a season when many people feel the pain of loss. Especially when this is the first Holiday without, there can be grief and possibly depression that creeps up. Let yourself have that time. Light a candle for a lost friend or relative, write a letter and send it up with a balloon (1 balloon +1 for each sheet of paper) and allow yourself to be sad. Then after you have grieved allow the Joy of creating new traditions and helping someone else’s Holiday season be special.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!