How to manage your Christmas Calendar

Your Christmas CalendarAre you inundated with holiday invites?  A too full calendar is one sure way to pile on some extra year-end stress.

Do you just wish you could spend your holidays as YOU wish to spend them instead of having to go to all the Christmas festivities calendared by everyone on your behalf?

Are you a sensitive woman dreading this Christmas Season because you fear it just might be more stressful than joyful?

If you are finding yourself saying “yes, yes and yes”, that may be a sign that your calendar might need some holiday relief.

Christmas isn’t the time to let your own personal needs and desires fly out the window.  This season can be about JOY – JOY for you and for the world.

Remember to honour what is important to you this season.  Honouring your own values is one way to increase your own personal fulfillment and joy.

Setting some limits on what you will and won’t do this year based on your own personal values just might change a stressful experience into one that nurtures you.

Reasons why people might automatically say yes to Christmas season invites:

  • They don’t want to disappoint
  • They really value the relationships and want to honour them
  • They believe “It’s expected”

Reasons why you might to pull back from automatically saying yes to Christmas Invites:

  • There is something more meaningful you would like to do
  • You need a rest or some rejuvenation time

What there is to learn to be able to say NO to more Christmas invites:

  • Learn that NO doesn’t mean I don’t love you, or don’t care for you.  It’s not about the other, it’s about you, and what you want
  • Learn that negotiation can be a part of the picture. I won’t be able to come this week, but how about we get together after Christmas?
  • Get really clear on what you ARE saying YES to.  When you are crystal clear as to what is most important to you, it’s easier to express your honest feelings
  • Don’t make promises if it is going to cause you stress.  It is better to say what you can commit to comfortably – and allow yourself the blessing of being able to NOT to do something if your energy isn’t there for it
  • Tell the truth
  • Set intentions rather than expectations
  • Don’t over promise.  Keep your commitments to what you can fully deliver on

Here are some quick tips on keeping your calendar the way you might want it:

  1. Block off in your calendar the time you need for yourself.   Whatever you want to do with your time – that’s up to you.  Whether it’s shopping, reading, or resting, make that choice as important as you would someone else’s agenda.
  2. Set a limit on how much you will say yes to in a week.  You get to decide how much that is and then honour it once you set it.  It’s a structure that will help you, when those automatic yes tendencies creep back in.
  3. Only say yes to things that light you with Joy.  Keep your calendar resentment-free.
  4. Balance your up-time with downtime.   Reduce the opportunity to be overwhelmed,  by balancing the amount of time blocked off on your calendar for others, with time just for yourself

If you are a sensitive woman, are dealing with holiday stress – you can read my recent blog post: Holiday Relief for Sensitive Women.

How do you like to manage your calendar during the holiday season?  Have some tips?  Share your ideas in the comments below:

 

A Simple Way to Coach Yourself Out of Stress

 

Holiday Stress?

As a sensitive woman, this holiday season may leave you with the feeling of being overwhelmed when all you want is how to be calm and get some holiday relief.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to run for the covers? Wishing the holidays were over and you could breathe again?
When chaos is around you, it is so easy to have your mind focus on what you don’t want – or want to avoid, rather than what you do want. Thoughts suitable for scoundrels and negative energy surround our every fibre of being – and we are left feeling small.

“Is this done yet?” – A common under-the-breath-wish has been whispered my many a big-hearted, sensitive woman during the holiday season.

You may know what I am talking about – when you find yourself having the same thoughts over and over again when the season is attempting to steal your positive energy and power – and you feel dragged to a place of negative vibration.

The simple things like taking care of your family, inviting your loved ones to a get-together, can seem to be an enormous obstacle.

The opportunity is to recognize these worries long before they become a challenge. When you can be proactive, you will suffer less and ultimately be able to do more without dread.

The initial step in taking care of holiday stress is this:
Avoid replaying the problem over and over again. If you are saying something along the lines of “there is not enough time and too much to do”, and you are saying it over and over, and you don’t do anything differently, then you are using up your precious time – just maintaining the problem.

Better still, unplug the energy from the problem. To unplug, just tell yourself “stop!”, And then take a few long deep breaths to bring yourself totally into the present moment. When you had the anxious feeling earlier – you were projecting your energy into the future. It’s much more resourceful here and now, in the present moment.Free from being overwhelmed

Once you are fully in the present moment – ask, “What is the truth of my current situation?”. Answer your question without collapsing back into the previous level of thinking, and focus on what the real core issues are that created the problem. Write them down.

The next step is to become very aware of the emotions that are present.

For every core issue, you listed – identify the feeling that goes along with that issue.  For example, if one of the issues was that you were saying YES, automatically without checking in with how you feel about things, then that feeling might be of shame or embarrassment.

See if you can identify the reasons why you feel this way. These reasons may just be the things that are stopping you from being your most effective self.

The last step is to change your thought, to change the way you are feeling.

To do this, create a thought that is just a little bit better.

For example, if I am feeling embarrassed about automatically saying yes to everything… I might change my thought (by making it just a little better) to something like:
“I say yes to only some things automatically and then to others, I stop and see how I feel.”

After you have your statement, check in with how you feel at that moment. Most women feel a little bit better.

Next improve that last statement by making it just a little bit better.

“I allow myself time to see how I feel before I answer yes to a question” – and then see how you feel. (Even better still)
Then, just keep on creating incrementally better thoughts – until you feel great and resourceful.

Afterwards, also, give yourself a little bit of appreciation for what you have accomplished. Then give yourself a little bit more appreciation – and so on.