It’s that time again – the holiday season is upon us. Not the holidays where you go to a sandy beach and de-stress from work and life. No, these aren’t those holidays! These are the holidays where you run endlessly from one party and event to another; where you wrap presents until midnight and put batteries in the latest toys in hope they will work once unwrapped; where you awkwardly reconnect with family members unseen the rest of the year; where the weight of expectations and tradition has you wanting to go back to bed and pull the covers up over your head until after January 1.

It may sound as if I don’t like this time of year, but that isn’t the case. It’s not the holidays themselves that have me sometimes feeling stressed, it’s the pressure to cram so much into such a short period of time.

So if you’re starting to feel stressed, asked yourself these 6 questions and follow my tips below.

Stressed Much? Ask Yourself These Qs…

  1. Am I the kind of person who finds it hard to decline an invitation, even if I don’t want to go?
  2. Do I need my holiday decorations to be as ‘perfect’ as possible?
  3. Do I enjoy exchanging gifts with each person on my list, or am I stuck in a tradition that no longer has meaning for me?
  4. Do I overspend and end up worrying about payments I’ll be making the rest of the year?
  5. Do I spend the day running to different houses for parts of meals because my extended family members celebrate on the same day and expect me to stop by?
  6. Do I even stop to ask myself how I would like to spend this time of year?

If you recognize yourself in these questions, then it’s time to become mindful about what you are doing. Stop for a moment and think about what you most love about this time of year. Whatever you put on your list is what you want to prioritize among all the possible options for how you spend your time.

My 3 best tips for stress-free holidays:

1) Remember what this particular holiday (holy day) is really about. How would you like to honor that? How can you make that the focus of your holiday season? Meditate and quiet your mind and you’ll discover the answer.

2) Take time with your family if you have children to design your own traditions; and let them be imperfect. It doesn’t matter if everything looks a certain way or what the neighbors might think. Discover together what your family most enjoys and values and design your holiday time around those new traditions.

3) Give yourself permission to decline invitations. Build free time into your holiday season and make some time for self-care. One important element of self-care is intention-setting so take time to make purposeful intentions for what you want to create in your life in the year ahead.

If you follow these three tips then you’ll find you won’t be reacting as much to the demands and expectations of others.

Take a deep breath with me right now.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
~~~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Start your own conspiracy of love this year.

Wishing you and your families love and joy,

Cathleen

About Cathleen O'Connor

Cathleen O’Connor PhD is a metaphysical teacher, best-selling author, speaker and intuitive coach who loves helping people harness the power of the mind and heart to co-create miracles in all areas of life. She has been quoted in the Huffington Post as a dream interpretation expert and featured as a work-life balance expert in various publications. Connect with Cathleen at cathleenoconnor.com and grab your free e-book: The Secret to Saying ‘No.’

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