Three Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

Holidays are the best time of the year filled with parties, celebrations, gifts, food, family, and friends.

Or are they?

happy_holidays_wallpaper_by_darktrick17-d5mvmf2For some, holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Our schedule is filled with events and gatherings leaving us no free time. We rush around buying gifts, decorations, and food. We are constantly cleaning the house to have it ready for our guests. Some gatherings are not only filled with the stress of preparations and deadlines, but old family wounds and insecurities. At the end of the holiday season, we feel drained, tired, exhausted, and depleted.

Here are a few ways to make your holiday season work for you.

Choose Wisely – When there are a plethora of parties to choose from, we can become overwhelmed and feel obligated to attend them all. This season, take the time to look at all the gatherings you are invited to and answer these questions:

  • Will it be fun?
  • Are there people I want to be around?
  • Do I feel obligated to go?
  • When I went last year, how did I feel afterward?

After reviewing each event, choose only those that will enliven your soul. Release the guilt of saying no to a friend or obligation, and instead rejoice in saying “yes” to you and what you need.

Experience Not Things – Remember being a child and playing with the box the toy came in as much as the toy itself? Instead of feeling like you need to go broke buying gifts or rushing around town to purchase the perfect gift, instead find ways to actually experience the holidays with those you love. Think of all the time you spend at the stores and consider how you could use that time to be with others. Ten years from now, people may not remember the fancy soaps you purchased them, but they will probably remember the special day you spent together.

Drop Perfectionism – The house does not need to be perfectly clean. The food does not need to be chef quality. Your decorations do not need to be made by Martha Stewart. Stop judging yourself and tying your self-worth to how well you execute the holidays. Those people who truly love us, love us just as we are. There is no need to be a Stepford Wife. Instead do as much as you are willing and spend the rest of the time enjoying your holiday.

Put yourself and your needs first this holiday season. Release the stress the holidays trigger and make a commitment to truly experience your holidays this year.

Money Rules Man by_BenHeine

Beyond Money and Power

Lately I have been experiencing a ground swell of desire for a new way to be and live. I expect to see this from my clients, however I am seeing it in places and people I would not expect.

Arianna Huffington shares her thoughts about redefining success in her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Instead of focusing solely on money and power she calls us to look to a third metric centered on the quality of our lives.

A relaxing weekend at a friend’s summer house becomes a discussion about values and goals. The quest for a successful business is being overtaken by the desire to focus on family and a slower way of living.

Interviewing potential financial advisors shifts into a discussion of how the stress of making six figures hurts health, relationships, and quality of life.

Money Rules Man by_BenHeineWe are not yet at the tipping point of embracing new values, but there is growing discontentment with how things are and a longing for something different. The challenge is money and power are so ingrained in our society. Deep in our psyche we still believe: Work hard. Keep up with the Jones. Make something of yourself. He with the most toys wins. Earnings = worth. Beat the other guy to win.

Yet all of these ideas are beginning to feel hollow. Big “wins” leave us dissatisfied. We earn and we buy and we don’t enjoy our lives. We strive and compete and we damage our health.

What does it take to embrace new values?

The first step is to define what you TRULY value. Not what society tells you is important, not what your family has always valued, not what your friends are striving for, but what you truly value. Deep down inside we all know what is important to us. The reason we do not focus on it is because it is clouded by convention.

  • Spend some time thinking and feeling about what truly makes you happy, brings you joy, and makes you feel fulfilled.
  • Next, list the things which are currently taking priority like your to-do list and current goals. Sit with each of these obstacles and uncover if they are truly important to you.
  • Begin to replace your current priorities with your true values and see how your health, joy, and relationships improve.

Share with us what you truly value and how you are going to start bringing it back into your life.