How to redesign the holidays to avoid stressors


The holidays are nearly upon us.

Nothing engenders an emotional response, i.e. pushes more buttons, than the holidays. The emotions vary from person to person and from year to year. And they are powerful.

There are the expectations: We are all going to be together for the holidays.

There is the bullying: We are all going to be together for the holidays.

There are the fears: We are all going to be together for the holidays.

There are the joys: So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.

There are the demands: So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.

There are the shoulds: So many wonderful things happen during the holidays.

Feel your buttons being pushed? So does everyone else.

Your employees. Your co-workers. Your friends. Your spouse. Your child. The person in the car in front of you. The person taking your coffee order.

The crowds at Costco. The hoards clogging the sidewalks downtown. The drivers at 5:00 PM on the parking lot that is I-5.

Coping with the holidays is living in a pressure cooker of ever increasing force. Then poof, the pressure and the excitement is gone, often leaving regrets.

Have you ever read a more depressing description of the holidays? Probably not, but I am willing to bet that everyone reading this understands the challenge that is the holidays.

Leadership Skill: Redesign Your Holidays.

Be mindful and aware of the aspects you find most challenging and commit to making changes. As a leader, model that the holidays do not have to be celebrated in the same way “because that is the way we have always done it,” but that they can be mindfully designed to create a truly blessed experience. A breakdown of what “redesign your holidays” means helps guide this process:

Redesign: The key to a meaningful redesign is being aware of what truly matters to you, and when it comes to the holidays we rarely ask ourselves that essential question. The answer will guide you to determine exactly where you want to put your time, energy, and funds. At the same time, it will help you to say “no” to the many other holiday options that threaten to throw you back into the pressure cooker.

Your: You have grown up in a family, a community, and a culture that has taught you the rules for celebrating the holidays. It is easy to forget that you are responsible for leading this part of your life as well as the rest of your life. Be bold. Think for yourself. Honor who you have grown to be. And offer that same respect to others.

Holidays: We all know that in the pressure cooker scenario of the holidays, it is easy to forget what and why we are celebrating. Mindfulness invites us to focus on the true value of these days so that we catch their blessings as well as their experiences.

How are you doing, purposefully designing your holidays?

My key is questioning everything early enough that I never get into the pressure cooker. Sharing my ideas with those with whom I love to share the holidays and being willing to listen to their ideas, allows us to create overlapping experiences that we can all enjoy. Then, making sure that I pay attention to the personal aspects of the holidays that make them meaningful for me. I believe that as I am blessed, I am in turn, able to be more of a blessing to others. I believe that about you, too. Redesign your holidays. End up filled rather than depleted. Blessed to be a blessing.

Posted on November 14, 2018 in Leadership

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