Do people really stress about Christmas?
You know one day in a whole year of days?
Did you stress about last Wednesday?
Or June the 22nd?
If you were walking into the biggest most important meeting of your career then being stressed, excited and just a bit scared was probably right, wasn’t it?
But for one day that doesn’t include any job interviews, big meetings and hopefully no trips to hospital then it’s not something to stress about. Is it?
If you forget the sprouts, Uncle Ted’s present or the matching napkins, no one is going to stress about it, heck it’s doubtful if anyone will remember one year on, so what’s the stressing for?
If you do find yourself stressing at Christmas here’s some things that could help and for the record, they work all year around to give you some stress free times, time management strategies, goal success and happier more successful life.
You may be the most amazing host but don’t think that means you can’t have help. Share the load. If you don’t want to share the cooking because you family could burn a pizza, what could you share? If anything family and friends love to be involved so share the load, it’s not your job to make Christmas perfect. The same goes for life, whatever you wish to achieve it is easier if you know you can trust others to take on some of the responsibilities and daily tasks to free up your time and head space.
Never is it more obvious than at Christmas (and in business) that we don’t communicate powerfully. You don’t share what upsets you, they don’t share what they don’t want to do, no one has told them that you want the washing up done (or not done) before the Karaoke and Charades begins. And so often the reason why is because we are scared of how we will be interpreted? We worry about what others will think of us. You won’t agree with everyone over everything, however clear communication enables everyone to feel respected, listened to and understood.
I remember the year I was 9 and a mouse short circuited the cooker so Dad spent most of Christmas afternoon trying to get the fried morsel out so we could get the Turkey in. I don’t remember the meal, I do remember my Nan getting stressed and us 3 kids and my Mum laughing. I do also remember the yellow plastic wardrobe I got for my favourite dolly, but I don’t remember any the meal at all – really important obviously! Perfect is not perfect. Perfect is stressful so don’t aim for perfect, aim for good enough and done. And in business I would say I see this practically every day “I will get it out there when we’ve just….” Or “I just need to do this and then I will launch it” Many professionals are the worlds best kept secret!
Concentrate on how you want to feel. For me Christmas is a month of pretty lights, 20+ year old decorations bought from around the world, late night shopping where you hardly shop just laugh and eat and lots of games and walks. My teenagers have already thrashed me (first time ever!) at a 2 week game of Monolopy and I’m now winning the 2nd game (I hid my money and property so they couldn’t nick any!) You get to decide how you spend your Christmas and if you can’t control which side of the family you are with or what you get to eat, you are in total control of how you feel. Don’t let others dictate that too. This is absolutely essential for every aspect of your life. So often we have little control but we can control our emotions.
I love a clean house I even love an immaculate office, everything in its place. But 8 years of illness so extreme I had to learn to like the occasional missed cobweb or go insane trying to ignore it, because I was too ill to do it for myself and funny enough 10 year old children aren’t perfect cleaners! I’ve learnt that no one looks back on life and says “Wow do you remember how clean the floors were?” So if you are running out of time, concentrate on what is really essential and now what you think should be essential. The two are different and learning this skill could make you very successful!
I can honestly say that if there was nothing under the tree I wouldn’t care very much. I’m not saying you need to be like this. What I am saying is that you need to know and honour who you are. For me I love looking after others and making their eyes light up with happiness. I feel I was put on this planet to make a difference and that makes me feel so alive and happy. Knowing how I feel about my role in life reflects itself on my actions at Christmas. I like to give to charity and to those that aren’t expecting a helping hand and I like to give gifts that have meaning. I’d rather spend 8 hours painting a picture for my Mum than buying something expensive that she is not sure she even wants or needs. Think about your choices for under the tree and how it represents the kind of person you are. For me as long as there is a hubby, a scruffy dog and 2 wonderful teens, I’m happy. You don’t have to be like that, but you do need to learn to honour who you really are. This is a fast track to professional success!
Most people dread the Christmas food shop, I don’t. I get my daft Christmas hat, the Christmas jumper that makes me look like a huge Marshmallow man and me and Hubby (Sometimes other family members too) hit the supermarket, grocers and butchers. There’s queues, there’s stressy people trying to take your heels off with a trolley and the more that happens the more we sing, skip and laugh. I’ve been in an over crowded veg aisle and sang Indiana Jones and squeezed through like I’m in the jungle on a life and death adventure to the milk aisle that is empty shouting “Mum, I made it, save yourself!”
At first people look around and ask “Whose the idiot?” but quickly most people realise how ridiculous we look clambering to get a sprout top and some red cabbage. I like to remember we are all human, going off to various homes around the country (and world) to smile, love and share. It never ceases to ground me and remind me of the big picture and heck if I don’t go home with brandy cream no one’s going to get hurt are they? In our lives we are often surrounded by others hype on what is important and what is essential. Don’t buy into this, find your own path and stick to it.
This is important for us all in every moment of our lives. When I’m coaching someone, sometimes we are dealing with really difficult and tough times for that client and yet before we’ve achieved anything together they feel better, how?
Because we changed their perspective on it.
And if worse comes to the worse and Uncle Ted doesn’t have a gift, you can’t buy Brandy cream, a mouse decides to fry itself in your cooker and your tree falls down, in years to come you will at the least be able to say “Wow, how resilient am I!? And that is something else we actually all need, to appreciate and know we have the ability to get through anything!
Merry Christmas and if you are thinking of coaching for you or a loved one for 2020 please note I’m nearly fully booked for January, however I’d still love to help. It would be my honour.