I pull up to the ATM, lower my window and can’t quite reach the slot for my debit card. Instead of unbuckling my seat belt, I reach—and then reach a tiny bit further. And that’s when I feel something pop down the right side of my body.
I bet you’ve done this kind of thing too. Maybe you’ve strained your back moving a sofa or suffered shin splints from over-training for a race. We all do it. We overextend and end up hurting our bodies.
We overextend in other, less physical ways too—especially during the holiday season. We “have to” buy too may gifts, bake too many different kinds of cookies, say “yes” to too many invitations, or incur too much credit card debt.
There’s a cascading effect from all of this overdoing. It goes like this:
We overextend → We get overwhelmed → We feel stress → We lose joy. Sound familiar?
Well, now that Thanksgiving has passed, some might say we’re entering the season of joy. But are we? Are you?
Maybe you’re energized by all you add to your plate for the holidays. If so, great. But, if you’re starting to feel holiday stress overtaking you, I want to suggest you consider this notion: Your Stress is Your Choice. You can choose less stress—if you want to.
Here’s how. Before the craziness kicks in, stop and ask yourself a few questions:
• In what ways do I typically overextend myself?
• What might I do less of so I feel more joy?
• What “have to” tasks and events are stealing my happiness?
• What new traditions or choices might I explore?
Here are few ideas to consider:
• Have a family gift exchange (rather than buying a gift for each person)
• Send New Year’s Cards instead of Holiday Cards (gives you more time)
• Set a holiday budget (and stick to it)
• Give yourself permission to say no
• Let go of perfectionism and instead say ok to good enough
And one of the best ways to feel less stressed is to stop trying to do everything at once and just do one thing at a time.
Yep, just one thing. Stay in the present moment and let go of your worries about the rest.
Imagine you’re hiking in the woods up a staggering set of steps carved into the side of the mountain. You start gasping for breath. As you glance up you think, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it. But, if you look just at the steps right in front of you, you’ll think, I can climb these few steps. And before you know it you’ll enjoy the view from the top!
So, I’d say that we can avoid becoming overwhelmed, stressed, broke, and joyless this holiday season by not overextending ourselves and taking things one step at a time.
And mostly by remembering that Your Stress is Your Choice. If you’re feeling more stress than you want, then unleash your options and make some new choices. When you make the choice to have less stress in your life, I guarantee you will be calmer than you imagine is possible—and your holidays more joyful.
Guest Blog post by Jamie Sussel Turner, The Less Stress Coach.
- Posted by Regina
- On December 2, 2019
- 0 Comments