It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and, if we’re being honest, a chaotic one! And the chaos brings with it lots of baggage in the form of emotional and financial stress and the never-ending to-do list.
We easily get caught up in all the hustle and bustle.
And we haven’t even included your organization’s holiday celebrations…
Do you ever feel like you’ve lost control and you need to get a handle on your holidays before the chaos sets in?
First of all – just let it go – because you aren’t going to be able to do absolutely everything perfectly.
Decide what your priorities are and focus on getting those done. You may create new traditions instead of upholding existing unfulfillable ones and figure out in the process that the little details that drive you crazy every year, really aren’t necessary to put joy in the holidays.
Would you like a few tips that will help you take back your holidays and be a more engaged person in every ‘moment’ with your family, friends, staff, and students during ‘the season’? Here they are:
1) Stop saddling yourself with unrealistic expectations. Just be who you are – not who people (even family members) have come to expect you to be. Don’t worry if you can’t get holiday backing done or write personal notes in your holiday cards – if you do indeed get holiday cards out. If you don’t get every decoration placed in the perfect spot. Maybe you don’t have to put ALL your decorations out every year. Choose different ones so that each year has a bit of uniqueness to it.
The important thing to realize is that it’s OK if you don’t get every single detail done. Be there to celebrate the reasons for the season. That’s the important thing.
2) Be present in the moment. This means putting away your phone (You and everyone else) Watch friends and family enjoy gifts, music, decorations, and each other’s company. It’s a disappointing feeling to realize that the holidays are over with and you’ve not been able to sit still long enough to allow the lights, the music and the aromas of the holidays wash over you.
3) Do something for others without expecting anything in return. This can be an activity, a donation or a prayer lifted up for those who are struggling. Somehow “Be ye kind one to another,” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “It is better to give than to receive” come to mind. Having this attitude in action should happen all year long – not simply at holiday time. Although holiday time is a good time to take an accounting of how you’ve done with this throughout the outgoing year and to plan a family service project to add clarity to the reason for the season.
4) Say No to things that don’t fit your priorities and Yes to those that do. You don’t have to go to every party you’re invited to, for example. To do this you must find balance during the holiday season too – learn to set priorities. Learn that you don’t have to have your hand in everything. The world will go on, the holidays will happen without you being in charge of it all.
5) Take care of yourself. The song lyrics are not “Tis the season to be tired.” It’s the season to be jolly and that means all of us not everyone except the one who does all of the work. Keep your regular exercise and rest schedule and continue to eat healthy instead of falling into the trap of the poor holiday diet. You cannot give unto others if you feel tired and irritable.
6) Be thankful, find the joy and have fun. The holidays have the potential for being the time to think about everything we don’t have instead of being thankful for how fortunate we are. Focus on enjoying what we have and that we have each other.
If you can do these 6 things for yourself, you may just have the time and the energy for your organization’s holiday celebrations and for sharing the joy of the holidays with your students.