Stress at Christmas time is a big issue for a lot of people. Most of us are already too busy and Christmas - instead of being enjoyable - becomes more 'have-to's' and that stresses us. Okay, so let's start with our thoughts. Often times we think of our responsibilities as chores that we 'have to' do. Let's reframe here a little and think about some of what we do. I 'have to' drive my kids to school - how about 'I choose' to drive my kids to school because I want them to get a good education and live a fulfilled life. I 'have to' walk the dog - I choose to walk the dog because it's good exercise for him and for me! When we have choices in our lives, we are no longer victims but are taking control. It will also cause you to think of different choices that you are making in your life and maybe wanting to change some of those choices. Are these choices I'm making good for me or for my family or for my career, etc.? How about Christmas? How can I choose to do things differently so that I really enjoy the season - what do I really like doing? So first step, reframe 'have to's' into 'I choose'.
And secondly, try to be in the moment. An example: You're waiting in line at the postoffice. How about striking up a conversation with the person behind you? Not that extroverted? Ok, try thinking of 5 things that are great in your life right now and be grateful for them. With thankfulness comes great perspective! By the time you reach the cashier, you'll be smiling. And how about a smile and some eye contact for her or him? At Christmas time, the service people really feel the stress from others who are stressed. You can make someone's day with a smile and a kind word! Let's try serving our servers. That's a de-stresser in itself.
So, less stress at Christmas? We make choices and we are not victims. Try to be in the moment, thankful and focused a little more on others.
And now, back to baby focus - more on simplifying Christmas (and on the baby!) next Monday.