As Christmas draws near stress levels often escalates. You may be financially stretched, your family may make jumping off a cliff into a sea full of sharks seem pleasurable, and making things ‘just right’ for Christmas may feel impossible.
We all have a vision of how it ‘should’ be but it often doesn’t match expectations or reality!
Stress levels can be sparked by a chance remark that tips the balance (often delivered by a ‘well meaning’ relative or in-law). Expectations and Assumptions can ignite the fires of stress and create frustration and disappointment when they go unexpressed or unmet.
This can be addressed when you Choose to take back control to create a plan of action.
There’s actually no such thing as a fundamentally stressful situation. It really depends on how we choose to feel, react or respond and the habits we’ve formed to manage life. Once we understand this, it can give us the power to greatly reduce any stress we feel.
Our body language is a direct mirror of everything we think and feel and is responsible for 55-90% of the communication we send and receive from others. So developing a strong foundation mentally, emotionally and physically will reduce stress and generate
the best possible outcomes.
Take Charge at Christmas
Focus Our Mind
1. Avoid Expectations and Assumptions running the show
– List 3 things you Expect from others
– Be specific about what you want and make it realistic.
– List 3 things you’re prepared to Give to others to create a joy filled Christmas.
2. Get Others Involved
– Let family and friends know you want to create a stress free, fun filled Christmas.
– Ask for everyone’s help and support to make it happen.
– This helps those that are ‘stress generator’ to tow the line, as they’ll lose face if they don’t join in.
3. Make it a Game – Make it Fun!
– Ask people to name their top 3 Expectations – Qualities they’d like to Receive from others ie. kindness, appreciation, help with… etc.
– Ask people to name 3 things they’re willing to Give of themselves.
– Send lists by email so everyone has time to decide what they’re prepared to Give to make Christmas an uplifting experience.
4. Increase the Fun
– Give awards for the most crazy expectations – The Turkey Award!
– Give a prize for the greatest generosity (their time, energy, help, kindness etc)
– You don’t need to spend a lot of money on awards or prizes they can be home made, or get the kids involved to create novel prizes.
Stabilize Our Emotions
1. Check-In with yourself daily at meal times to rate your happiness level 1-5 (5 highest).
– Take 3 x deep breaths down to your stomach – Blow out Stress!
– Ask yourself: “What can I do right now to increase my happiness level?”
– Then just do it!
2. Become aware of any negative thoughts, feelings or behavior.
– Take charge to update any sabotage patterns to increase
your ability to feel good and quickly turn challenges around.
3. List things you enjoy doing, feeling, smelling, touching listening to etc.
– Do 1 thing you really enjoy for at least 10 minutes every day.
– Keep it simple and consistent.
4. Name 3 things you’re Grateful for at each Check In during the day.
– This quickly boosts your mood regardless of the situation.
– AND guess what, the more Grateful you are… the happier you’ll feel.
Be the Difference this Christmas
Focusing your mind to help gain clarity for yourself and everyone involved creates understanding and a really positive focus for Christmas. Cutting down the chances of misunderstandings, increasing connection, communication and collaboration.
By using these simple techniques you can prevent and even overcome the most stressful situations. So choose to take charge, making fun the focus so you can ‘Deck the Hols with Stress free Jolly!’