Why Are Holidays So Frenetic?
It’s easy to get carried away during the holidays. There is so much pressure, with templates of how we should look and act in the media with extra emphasis on what we should expect and give as gifts.
December is a tough month for guilt when we fail to live up to our often unrealistic expectations. In our attempt to allay this guilt, we run around frantically trying to fit it all in.
It’s especially stressful when we have friends and family scattered about the country. We can’t make time for everyone, so we have to compromise and choose who to spend time with and those we cannot.
I remember during our first year at graduate school, Beth and I tried to visit both of our families during the Christmas break. We were in school in Indiana, my parents were in Florida, and Beth’s in Colorado. The idea was excellent, but the execution was a disaster. It was hugely stressful, and we vowed never to do it again.
This year we traveled for Thanksgiving, but are staying put for Christmas. Even with last-minute requests from family, we’ve decided that our time here was more important this half of the holiday season.
Our choice gets back to one of the most basic messages in You Can Choose: Know What You Want. When you know what you want, it is easier to make choices, especially if you have too many options. It’s a way to permit yourself to say ‘yes’ or’ no’ with a good reason.
It also gets to another fundamental message in You Can Choose: It’s All About You. If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you possibly help others? it’s like they say on the airplane, “Put your oxygen mask on before others flying with you.”
So this holiday season, be sure to take time for yourself. When you do, think about what you want. How do you want to spend your time? What will make it memorable for you? With that intention, take inspired actions that feel right and sit back and watch how magically things unfold.