Are you enjoying this holiday season, or just going through the motions? December especially can be so busy; there are always so many things to do and get done, before the holidays and before the end of the year. Santa is not the only one who makes lists this time of year, and like his, ours sometimes seem unending.
Are you doing the things you need to do-shopping, baking, decorating, or whatever else because you want or choose to do so, or because you feel obligated? The reason behind your actions can make all the difference in your attitude, and your stress levels, as you go about your day.
I know that though there is snow on the ground, and I’m anticipating my own grown kids gathering in the next week, I have to remember to keep the right mind set as I go about my daily tasks.
Those of us that work in the health industry sometimes especially feel the strain, as patients struggle to use insurance benefits and money in Health Savings Accounts before the end of the year, or while college-age kids are home for the holidays. The volume of business, the crowds, and the inevitable waiting in line add to everyone’s stress levels and quell the goodwill feelings many struggle to keep.
Personally, I have learned the best way to manage everything is to learn to say “enough,” and sometimes “no.” Ask yourself if some traditions are not important or meaningful to you at this point in your life. Are there tasks or duties or events that you can say no to, or simply “let go?”
“Picking and choosing” which traditions you uphold, decorations you use, events you attend, or even the number of people you shop for does not make you a bad person, only a human with limited time, energy, and resources. Eliminating some less important or more trivial tasks may even make more pleasant to be around, bring more significance to those things you choose to keep on your list, and give you more time to simply be with your loved ones.
When you are not overwhelmed by your chore list, the decrease in stress can really put you in the holiday mood.
I’m sitting and writing this before I get ready to go to work, another busy day in the season. I am not done with my holiday preparations, but the end is in sight, so I can go about my day with a lightened heart, knowing that everything is okay. I will get done all the important things. I will not let the below-freezing temperatures, the traffic, the crowds, or the grumpy over-stressed customers get to me today.
I hope you all find your bliss, your holiday spirit, in the middle of the chaos today, and are able to enjoy the season for all it’s worth.