Do holidays make you anxious? Do you feel pressure to please people? No worries. Here are some skills to keep your holidays jolly.
Ask For What You Want
If you don’t specifically ask for what you want, you’re not likely to get it. Even the best mind reader doesn’t anticipate correctly every time. What seems obvious or polite to you may not be understood by all people. Don’t take offense if others don’t believe as you believe. Just ask for what you want. This will avoid all the hints, manipulations, and hurt feelings.
Just Say No
No is a complete sentence. You don’t need an excuse or reason to say no. When you agree to do what you don’t want to do, you dishonor yourself because you go against your desires or values. You can’t be happy when you go against yourself. Saying no isn’t always easy. The price for doing something that you don’t want to do is often too high. So just please yourself.
RSVP in a Timely Manner
When someone invites you to do something, they need to know of your intentions so that they can plan. If you’re a “yes”, say yes. If you are a “no,” say no. If you are truly unsure, let them know that. Just leaving the host guessing is bad manners and could create stress for others. Instead of ignoring the question, hinting, or waiting to the last minute to decide, communicate. If you won’t know how you feel, if your schedule is clear, if you have the money, or something that can’t be known until the last minute, let the other person know. This will give them the opportunity to plan around you or ask someone else.
Don’t Hold Others Under Obligation
If you believe in your right to do as you please, it’s only fair to allow others to do the same. An invitation is not an obligation. A gift is not an obligation to get one in return. Spending $X is not a contract to receive something of equal value. When you make it so in your mind, you set yourself up for disappointment and blame the other person. This is a lose/lose situation.
No Blame, No Shame, No Judgment
Blaming, shaming and judgments project our negative thoughts and feelings outward. They then come back to hurt our own hearts. A win/win strategy is to approach things with an open heart. Love others enough to let them choose their own path (even if that means they don’t choose to spend time with you, don’t give you a gift, don’t get you what you want, want to do something other than what you want to do, etc.).
Love yourself enough to set your own limits about what is acceptable for you to do. Don’t overspend, jump through hoops to make magic happen, or overpromise. Make yourself happy and love yourself for it. A happy you equals a happy holiday.
Maintain Self Care
It’s easy to get derailed when you get off your schedule. Not enough sleep, overstimulation, over eating, too many sweets, and lack of exercise and downtime can lead to sickness or an emotional meltdown. Love yourself enough to set limits and put yourself first. Yes, there is a lot going on this time of year. That doesn’t mean you have to do it all or be “on” for all of it. Sometimes a night by the fire or in the bath with a book is just what you need.
Please Yourself. Allow Others to Please Themselves.
There are three things that people are meant to do in this life: love, serve, and practice wisdom. If you are doing all of these things while pleasing yourself, you will always serve from a place of fullness. This serves both yourself and others. What better way to spread joy than that?
Holidays don’t have to be stressful. Using skills takes the anxiety out of planning and participating because you have strategies that work. Just be sure to use them.