The holidays are a time for tradition, celebration, and possibly a freakout.
Between figuring our holiday traditions and putting everything together, it can be downright anxiety-inducing. This year could be particularly challenging with quarantines, mandates, and the social media shaming that might ensue.
The holidays can be a time of ease. Our traditions can be there to carry the load, while we quietly observe. This begins by defining what we really want for the holiday and taking steps toward that.
We may think, well it’s only a few days before, can we really make a change? I believe so.
A few years ago, several hours prior to a family gathering, I found myself hyperventilating on the couch. I had overextended myself, wanting to live up to the ideals I had set for myself. Yet, here I was incredibly miserable on the couch. I recognized this as a signal to check in with myself.
What did I need?
I needed permission to do what I really wanted to do. That meant calling everyone and pushing dinner back a few hours. I wanted time to breathe. I needed a few moments to catch up on what had felt previously overwhelming. It’s never too late to claim what we want. Even in the last minutes before an event, we can reclaim what we really want.
So, now I’m extending that to you.
Do you wish you could just stay home and enjoy the holidays in your PJs? You can. Do you wish you could find a way to see everyone? You can. Do you want to have the holiday be about something beyond presents? You can! You can decide right now to start envisioning the holiday you truly want and begin putting together the pieces to move toward it.
The year I was miserable on the couch, I pushed the holiday back and redefined what I wanted it to look like. This year, in quarantine, I have focused on what the holiday means to me and worked to create that in a way that works within the boundaries of the mandates.
We have the power to reclaim control of our holiday by focusing on what we can control. This also means reminding ourselves that the holiday belongs to us too. The memories we create will be our token, and by continuously giving that over to others – we simultaneously give up the holiday we hoped to have.
What would you like your holiday to look like? The REAL version, not the one that seems possible right now.
If you need guidance reimagining your holiday, this article may be of help here. I talk more about listening to the signals in our lives in my audiobook, Balanced Productivity: Foundations for a Life of Accomplishment & Ease.