December has snuck up on us. Before we even had time to take the Thanksgiving decorations down, we have found ourselves in the midst of menorahs being lit, Christmas carols being sung and presents being wrapped.
It’s only the first week of December and people are already saying, “I just need to get through this month.” Why is it that we are more focused on “getting through” the holidays than we are on enjoying them?
Before things get too crazy, consider 10 tips for calming the chaos of the season.
1. Slow down. Stop what you are doing right now and think about how you feel. Slow the pace down, even just a bit, and recognize that you have control over how this month goes.
2. Breathe. Now that you’ve decided to slow down, it’s important that you actually breathe. Whenever you feel the pressure increase or the negative thinking appear, take three deep breaths and remember that you get to choose whether these days feel crazy or enjoyable.
3. Get clear about what the purpose of the season is for you. Is it to give gifts or get gifts? Is it to honor your religious traditions? To connect with family and friends? To rejoice in life? Connect to what this time of year really means to you. Hold that purpose in the forefront of your mind as you make decisions about what gifts to buy for whom and which events to attend.
4. Decide how you want to be this season. Now that you know what the purpose of the season is for you, declare how you want to be during it. Do you want to be joyful, peaceful, inspired, or connected? Or do you want to be stressed, grumpy, frazzled, or distracted? There may be some family or work obligations that you feel you just can’t say "no" to. However, you can choose how you will show up and what you will put out into the world. Choose wisely, as we often attract what we project.
5. Focus more on “I want to” and less on “I should do.” Many of us operate out of obligation, whether we know it or not. Make a list of all the things on your plate this month. Next to each item, mark whether you really want to do it or you think you should do it. If you don’t like to do it and you don’t want to do it, challenge yourself to strike it from your list.
6. Simplify. You don’t have to do it all; and you don’t have to do it all perfectly. Streamline your plans, shorten your gift-giving list, ask for help, and eliminate the excess.