Holiday Resolution: More Fun and Less Fuss

Last week I was standing in line at Vons when I realized that the music playing was Jingle Bells. As the others around me groaned, the lady in front of me lamented, "It isn't even Thanksgiving yet! I feel so much pressure!" I smiled with her as I considered this common sentiment.

If holiday anxiety is beginning to threaten your
Taking Time over the Holidays for FUN!
equilibrium, now is a good time to push the RESET button and stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed. You are in charge of your feelings. Admit to sometimes having succumbed to holiday anxiety and resolve to stop it NOW! Give yourself permission to celebrate the holidays a bit differently, with less fuss and stress. What if you strive toward peace instead of perfection, fun instead of fuss? Here are some proactive steps you could choose to take. 

1. Talk yourself out of the old perfectionism of the past. Just because you have done things a certain way forever does not mean that you have to continue. What parts of your rituals could be trimmed away or changed all together? My single friends enjoy "Pie for breakfast," a Thanksgiving tradition where everyone brings a pie and from 9-12 a.m. they enjoy fellowship and pie. Any angst of being alone on Thanksgiving is banished.

Spending Time with Friends
2. If the holidays are a painful reminder of the past, change up what you do. Plan ahead by becoming proactive to protect yourself: visit a mission, take a trip, greet people in the hospital, go to church. 

3. Start today and make lists for gifts, food, shopping, and events to attend, so that you do not have to keep all of that in your head. Slowly chip away at your list.

4. You are allowed to say "No." Take care of yourself by declining invitations and expectations that are just too much for you.

One of the most meaningful books I ever read was Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life, by Eugene O'Kelly.  O'Kelly was a man who stopped for nothing, go go go! He made millions and flew hundreds of thousands a miles a year, missing out on a personal family life. When he learned at age forty that he had just weeks to live, he transformed his life. His last weeks were his best
Donna and Ken at Book Festival Awards
because he stopped and appreciated life. He said, "I collected more precious moments in those weeks than in all the previous years of my life." He learned how to really live life. Kris Allen's song, Live Like You Are Dying, carries the same message. Now is our time. It seems a waste to spend it wigged out because we have allowed too much to be on our plates or we are mired in grief over the past.

I don't think happiness is found spinning around, faster and faster on a treadmill. I think happiness is found through a life of gratitude, through feeling hopeful, by taking time to reflect on the positive in the world, and by taking care of ourselves. The holidays do not have to be a marathon of shopping, wrapping, too many parties and fatigue. They can be a time of peace and joy as we celebrate this wonderful life we have been given and our many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Of course I always love to hear from you. 
My best, donna

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