Gifting myself a break

The holiday stress is real! No matter how much thought I put in being mindful about celebrating Christmas and the new year, and how much I plan to have done things in advance and not rush, the week before the holidays always brings a lot of stress for me. As such, I decided that this week’s post will simply be shorter and less in depth than usual. 

You see, as I reviewed my spending triggers for the holidays, anxiety sits right on top of that list. Since March, I’ve posted on a bi-weekly schedule and have enjoyed creating this writing habit and how it has pushed me to improve my writing and translation skills. However, I just don’t feel like adding the extra stress of publishing one of my more detailed drafts this week would be helpful with all the other things that are contributing to my anxiety. 

Snow and blue sky

Reduce the scope

Between having gifts to wrap, meals to plan, grocery lists to prepare, wine to buy, cards to write and plenty of other chores and errands to run, it sounds like a perfect time to put to use James Clear’s concept of lowering the scope and sticking to the schedule. I’ve written about this concept in my Hit the gym regularly with a smoother morning routine with the preschoolers & Reach Your Goals When Life Gets Chaotic posts.

In his article entitled How to Stick to Your Goals When Life Gets Crazy, James Clear sums it up as:

“ On any given day it is more important to stick to your schedule than it is to meet your expectations. ’’

As such, this is exactly what I’m putting into action by publishing a much shorter post. I’m also going to take some time this week to reflect on how I can lower my expectations during the holiday period in order to relieve some of my anxiety and hopefully increase the enjoyment that I get out of this festive period with my family. 

I hope you can do the same and allow yourself to focus on the things that are truly important to you during this period. 

Remembering the “why” behind our desires

Finally, there is so much value in remembering the “why” behind our actions or desires. Specifically in this case, I can ask myself: why am I getting anxious about the last week before Christmas? 

Part of it is wanting to make this period magical for our kids, another part is that there is so much to think about and prepare for various festivities. Meanwhile, things at work get a little crazy as people try to get three weeks of work completed in one. 

That’s why I’m taking this time to ask myself, in the end, what do I actually desire out of this period of the year? 

  • Fabulous time with my immediate and extended family.
  • Deep and also light discussions on how the last year unfolded.
  • To eat delicious food in good company.
  • A bit of some Christmas magic for our kids.

I’m going to keep this short list on my mind over the next few days and hopefully find plenty of ways to enjoy this festive time of the year. 

My warmest wishes to you for a happy holiday season! 

 I would love to read your tips on helping ease the stress of this period or on your own desires for the holiday season! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Gifting myself a break

  1. Great post and a good reminder to keep it real and as relaxed as possible. Happy holidays!

  2. No argument from me! I always experience stress in the lead up to Christmas – add in sadness about my mum’s dementia and this year it’s extra tough. All the best for your Christmas, spending time with family and friends.

  3. I am not a parent and therefore Christmas is less stressful, but I do think people can make work for themselves by buying so much. In my family we don’t buy presents for the adults anymore. I think there’s also scope for sharing cooking rather than leaving it to the host. Guests could bring starter or dessert. There’s a great post by Chrissy at EatSleepBreatheFI on Christmas which I would recommend you have a look at. I hope you enjoy your break. Merry Christmas. Sam

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