I’m talking to a lot of business owners who “cannot wait” for Christmas and holidays to come.
They are exhausted.
Ready to take a “much needed break”.
The thing is, with all the pressure many of us put ourselves under, the next couple of weeks in the lead up to Christmas can be particularly stressful.
This week, I’m sharing with you 7 tips to minimize your stress as we enter the festive season.
One of the reasons we feel stressed at this time of year is we burden ourselves with the expectations of others.
We may hear ourselves saying “I should go and visit Uncle Fred and Aunty Mary”, “I gotta buy my nieces and nephews a present” (because my sister buys my kids something), “I have to make a Christmas pudding”, I must spend time with Tom.
Rob and I are very strong on the philosophy that we all have our own values and life priorities, which are as unique to us as our fingerprint.
One of the reasons we become exhausted at this time of year is that we live our life according to what our family and society tells us we should, gotta, have to, must be doing at this time of year.
Having worked with people for many years, as soon as hear these ‘should-type’ words leave my clients’ mouths, I know what they are saying is not a value or priority to them.
So check your language – how much are you should-ing all over yourself?
For many of us, this time of year finds us spending time with people we don’t usually spend time with.
Usually, the expectation is to spend the day with our birth family, who have known us all our lives. Sometimes things get said that upset us or we have memories of things that happened a long time ago which resurface when we’re around certain people.
When this happens, our normal human response is to react to what is said – some of us withdraw, others of us fight back. We also blame the other person for what ever feelings we are experiencing.
One of the disciplines we teach our clients is none of us have any control over what others say or do it, the only thing we can control is how we respond.
This is particularly pertinent when we’re catching up with our birth family, because when we’re triggered by something they say or do, if we’re not aware, our response will automatically be the response we had to them as children. It’s the main reason why Christmas Day arguments can blow up over the seemingly smallest of issues.
One of the lessons I am learning in life is that whenever someone says or does something to me, it is a reflection of them and who they chose to be. My response to them is a reflection of me and who I chose to be.
I have learned that these situations are a perfect personal development opportunity.
There’s no doubt that Christmas is the season for giving gifts. Many of us are very good at giving, because we were brought up to believe that “it’s better to given than receive”.
Many business owners give a lot of our time to our business, we give a lot of our money to our business and we certainly give our business all of our attention. We keeping giving until we have nothing left, getting to this time of year until we are exhausted.
Fewer of us have learned to receive. There are many reasons for this:
We don’t believe we are worthy of what the other is offering, be it a compliment, be it the offer of assistance;
We have been conditioned to look for the strings attached or we’ve been taught it’s selfish.
What I have learned is that the more open I am to receiving the more the universe opens its gifts to me.
By recognizing our resistance to receiving is the first step. We can then examine where that resistance is coming from.
Especially at this time of year, I hear people say “I’m angry”, “I’m frustrated” etc. Rob and I regularly talk about our environment. Unfortunately the environment that has the greatest impact on us is the words we say out loud or to ourselves. Anything that follows the 2 little word “I am (I’m)” is reinforcing to our subconscious our belief about ourselves and reinforcing our identity.
Yes we all have those emotions – everybody does from time to time. However if we keep telling ourselves that we are those emotions, we will continue to experience those feelings.
For many years I was the queen of suppressing my feelings. In other words, I’d experience those feelings, but then “just get on with it”. The impact on my health was incredible.
Over the years I’ve worked very hard on this area on my life. Today, when I experience strong feelings, I say “Within me, I have feelings of anger/frustration/sadness etc” (This enables me to acknowledge the feelings that I have, AND not make it part of my identity (I am angry/frustrated/sad). Then I say, “I wonder what would happen if I didn’t have those feelings of anger/frustration/sadness etc”?
I can then “get on with it”, because I’ve addressed it. Most of time I have feelings of extreme peace and joy by simply following this little process.
In addition I have learned that I am not my feelings. This process helps me to look into the feelings not make them who I am.
When we woke up on January 1st, 2020, I doubt any of us had any idea what the year had in store for us.
I’ve heard many people say it’s been a tough year. I acknowledge yes, we’ve all experienced something none of us have every experienced before – a global pandemic, with the subsequent emotional, financial, and relational consequences.
2020 has had its challenges certainly, but it has also had its blessings. In fact, if we look back there’s been as many blessings as there were challenges. Sometimes we need to look harder to find them, but they are there.
As we come to the end of the year, use the opportunity to reflect on 2020, and ask yourselves these 10 simple questions:
Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of people say “I can’t wait for Christmas”.
I acknowledge Christmas is now very close. However, when we make a statement like “I can’t wait for Christmas”, even if it’s tomorrow, we are wishing our life away.
We are not enjoying the present moment.
If the present moment is bringing us challenges, we are not taking the opportunity to see the benefits of those challenges, we are only seeing the negative in the situation. This is one of the greatest causes of our stress.
In a previous post [link: ] I talked about how 2020 taught me that none of us know what is going to happen tomorrow.
For me 2020 has been one of the greatest teachers for living right now, loving right now, being here right now.
All we have is right now, this very moment. Stressing about tomorrow, stressing about everything that “has to” get done between now and Christmas is robbing us of the joy of right now.
I have a very firm belief that when I am experiencing feelings of stress, it is an opportunity for me to stop and to take check of what’s happening for me right now.
I can ask myself:
One of the best de-stressors I know is to STOP, reflect, and count my blessings. Stress is a state of being, but so is being truly grateful.
Stress is hard, being grateful is hard.
Choose your hard.
The next few weeks are a wonderful opportunity to set ourselves up for whatever is ahead in 2021.
Rob and I are here to assist you achieve in achieving the business which works for you and your family, giving you the rewards you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Reach out for a confidential conversation about how, together, we can create a business which gives you and your family the time, the money and the freedom you’ve always wanted.
Access FREE Foundations For A High Performance Team.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.