It’s time to talk holiday prep.
What's your stance on Christmas displays in shops before December?
Whether the October prep irks you or you don’t give it a second thought, now’s the time for a different holiday prep:
Yep, busy-ness, get-togethers, functions, present buying, financial worries, family struggles, big emotions, exhausted minds and oh yeah – everyday life too. It’s a lot.
Does thinking about the holiday season have you singing down the corridors or cringing from the kitchen?
The fact is, this season is fast approaching and if we don’t get our head and heart set for how we want be, we’re likely to get swept up in the drama, expectations and emotions of EVERYONE else, the whirlwind of greetings & gatherings will come and go, money will be spent, and food will be eaten. We’ll be left with the remnants of overflowing bins, a couple of extra kilos, a lot less sleep, very tired children and maybe, regrets.
We don’t want regrets. Nope, not this year.
We’re going to take our lessons learned through life, our resourcefulness and the support of reminders like this, to get PREPARED. Mentally and emotionally prepared to achieve Seasonal Sanity.
Brain dump it baby! Grab a pen and paper, your phone or laptop, and write down everything you’re DREADING about the holidays. Include the small stuff too. Do you know the story of Who Sank The Boat? Each animal gets into the boat one at a time. The boat is balancing, but getting heavier and heavier until in the end, ‘the little mouse, the smallest of them all’ jumps in and the boat SINKS. So yes, dear friend, list those little annoyances too, ‘cause they’re all adding to your mental and emotional load.
Great, now get up and Move Your Body. Do 20 star jumps, run up and down the stairs, get into the backyard, go for a walk, do some push-ups, or blast your fave music & dance those stresses out of your body! Woo – that feels better, right?
Ok, step three. Come into my world and DREAM. Sit or lay somewhere, look through photos of past Christmases, play music that reminds you of being a child, do SOMETHING that helps you remember, or helps you design, who and how you want to be this season. Answer questions like:
What you’ve just done in this activity is create a contrast. You’ve looked at what irks you and what inspires you. And guess what? You’re WAAAY ahead of most of the population already. You’ve begun the steps to have a memorable and empowered holiday period, regardless of what life offers up.
If you keep step three in the forefront of your mind, your very clever brain will start focusing on the emotions you WANT to feel, instead of being in the drama of what you don’t want.
If I said, ‘don’t think of a pink elephant’, you’ll picture a pink elephant. If you keep thinking how you want to feel, your brain will start to override your old habits (and old feelings) with these new ones. How exciting is that! That makes YOU feel better and do you know who benefits when you feel better? Your children.
If your children are playful and giggly, you’ll see that more easily. If they’re having a meltdown, you’ll be the calm in their storm more easily. See? Prepping your mental and emotional game is a win:win for all.
One year after doing this work with a client, I received an email that read:
“Have never been more present Cath. It's been amazing. I hope you have had a fantastic Christmas. Xo”
Presence was her goal. As a busy mum with a large family and lots of social requirements, her memories of past Christmases were of being rushed, busy, and not present. As the end of year loomed closer, this beautiful mum spent weeks prepping herself – just like you have here – and as a result, had one of her best Christmases EVER.
Living the life of your dreams doesn’t have to equal Big Things. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s the smallest of new habits, the seemingly small choices and daily mental work you do that makes the greatest impact. Like the little mouse that sank the boat, but instead, it’s the foundation providing the strength. You are your family's strength.
I want to remind you, life can be simpler than you think. Not easy, but simpler.
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