Tis the Season of Blessing or Stressing
Get prepared for the Holidays. The shopping malls have been ready since October with decorations of shiny tinsel, red bows, gigantic wreaths, and white lights.
In a blink of an eye Thanksgiving will be here and then the busy the season hits. If you are not intentional you will be swept away in the river of activity and expectations.
Because you are not ‘in it’ yet, you have an opportunity.
Prepare your heart for the holidays. What do you really want for the holiday season?
Do you want this to be the season of blessing or stressing?
How was Halloween? Did your kids get stressed about having the perfect costume? Did they worry about who they would be hanging out with? Did they lose it because someone took their kit kat or whatever their favorite candy is? Did they eat too much candy and now are freaking out saying, “I am so fat”?
And when your kids or partner get stressed, how do you react?
Your kids will have a ton of stress this next month. They are going to have more school work and projects which means they are going to get less sleep. Add to that the pressure from all the social activities and performances.
When you combine social pressure, school pressure and lack of sleep together you are going to have drama.
4 ways to keep this a season of blessing (and not stressing)
1. Be prepared
Stress happens during the Holidays and it is a huge problem in our culture. It’s not just you and your daughter.
But you can be prepared by anticipating stressful events, stressful times, and stress out of nowhere.
- Stressful events (getting ready for a performance) or deadlines (term paper or project is due.)
- Stressful times of day which are the mornings (getting ready for school) and sometime after school. You know this, because you have had plenty of experience with her losing it at those times.
- Stress out of nowhere. Sometimes it does come out of left field. You think, “Really, you are screaming like a maniac because you can’t find your orange shirt.” This ‘stress out of nowhere’ throws us off more than anything.
You don’t have to react even if she reacts.
When you anticipate the stress it helps you prepare your heart and get a plan.
- Remember it’s not personal. It’s stress.
- Remember she is still in process. Stop obsessing about what she will be like in 20 years.
- Decide who you want to be if she reacts. You can stay calm and not get caught up in her drama.
- Set an intention. I will stay centered and calm even if my daughter loses it. I won’t take it personally. I choose to enjoy my day no matter what comes up.
- Remind yourself before you are ‘in it.’ Right before you pick her up in your car say your intention out loud.
2. Keep the big picture
Intentions are about the big picture. They remind you of what you really want. They are guiding principles that align your heart, soul and spirit.
Ask yourself what are your priorities over the holidays? What is most important to you?
You want to enjoy your family and everyone to get along. You want to remember the deeper meaning of the holidays.
The intentions center you. Ask yourself, “does this activity or mindset line up with my intention.”
Intention: You want to enjoy your family and everyone to get along.
Does ‘having a perfect house’ line up with your intention? When people are stressed you can feel like the ‘towel on the floor’ is more important than any relationship.
Does cramming ‘3 parties, 2 activities at church and one garage sale into one weekend’ line up with your intention? Too much activity and running around sets you up for stress and reaction.
3. Count your blessings
‘Count your blessings’ is another way to keep the big picture. When you are stressed your focus narrows down to the one small thing that you are stressed about like the ‘towel’ and then you take that small thing and make a mountain out of it. You think, if you can’t pick up the towel off the floor what kind of wife are you going to be. Your house is going to be condemned the first week you are living in it.
But when you count your blessings it shifts how you see your daughter. I am grateful that she makes good choices. I am grateful for the times we laugh. I am grateful that she is healthy.
I am grateful for her life. This is a big one. I have sat with parents who have lost their child. Remember she is still with you and is a work in progress.
4. Say no – simplify
Ask yourself, how can I decrease the stress this Holiday season?
Say no unless it’s an absolute yes. Did you really want to go to that party or event? If you say yes to that ‘one too many’ activity, it can ruin your intention.
What can you do to simplify your life? Every small thing helps. Simplify your decorations. This year I bought a pumpkin and I didn’t have time to carve it. I put my ceramic pumpkin with the happy face on my front porch and put a candle in it. My daughter didn’t even notice.
Simplify your meals. You don’t have to have every course be Martha Stewart quality. You can have one fabulous entree. Then you can buy something from the store. (If you are going to buy the salad in the bag, make sure you pull out the plastic bag of croutons before you serve it. I was at a friend’s house and she laid out this elegant meal and when I served myself some salad, up came the plastic bag of croutons which made for a hilarious moment.)
Get extra help.
This is so worth the money. Hire someone to help you with a meal or cleaning up after a party. Or if you are having friends over and you want your house to be perfect then hire someone to do that extra cleaning for you. You can sell this to your husband by telling him this small amount of money is going to get you off his back and put you in a fabulous mood.
Take 30 minutes grab a cup of tea or coffee and write down your holiday intention and I would love to know what it is.