Pixaby Images: Photo-shopped — Kimberly Sheldahl
(Clock-Alexas Fotos; Sweet Potatoes-Hans Braxmeier; Earth-Gerd Altman)
There’s much to say about the ticking clock. Time is and finite and we all must work within that reality. But where does time go? It appears to evaporate. Many pivotal moments in my life seemed as if they happened yesterday. Yet many of them occurred years ago. So, where does time go and how do we capture it before it slips away?
I know many of us attempt to engage in present moment awareness and appreciate that for what it is. Frankly staying present is especially difficult during the Holiday season. It doesn’t matter what, when or how you celebrate.
For the most part, many of us get together. There’s the shopping to do and the shopping list before the shopping. We prepare our home for guests. Then we cook, eat and shop more. After all, ‘tis the season for deals. We decorate our homes and wrap presents and visit relatives. Funny thing is, no one builds in any extra time to get all those things done. There is still only 24 hours per day. Tick Tock.
It all adds up to a joyous season that’s seasoned with elements of stress. We genuinely want to enjoy all the beauty surrounding us. We want to appreciate our families, our health and good fortune. We are blessed with plentiful food and gifts. So why then are we stressed? It’s often because of that ticking clock and mostly a matter of time.
Experts debate time versus attention management but there is no denying that each day has only 24 hours. So, we must choose how to spend that time. How do we choose to do what matters most? How do we shift priorities and make time for all that we must do? The shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, traveling and entertaining?
I’d like to say that I’ve figured all this out and can give you the best advice, but I don’t have it all figured out. I’m also a work in progress and I get stressed too. That stress isn’t because I want to overdo it. It stems from me wanting to give others a memorable Holiday season.
I remember loving Christmas when I was a kid. I had no idea how much work went into all that magic. I was a kid, ready to open presents, eat good food and play with my new toys. What happened? I like you became in charge of all that magic. And sparkle doesn’t happen without hard work. Or does it? The magic of the Holidays can co-exist without all the stress, but it must start with each and everyone of us. We know there is more to do. That fact is inevitable. What can we do to enjoy the magical season without getting too stressed?
1) Let some things go.
Decide what you WANT to do and what you feel you SHOULD do and do only those things.
Who cares if the tree isn’t up yet?
And who cares if the floor needs to be vacuumed again?
What if the presents aren’t all wrapped and under the tree by the 15th? It doesn’t matter.
And trust me the mailman doesn’t really care if you get decorations on the mailbox.
2) Accept help.
Let someone help with meal prep or let them bring a dish. Whatever you do don’t make the same thing! I’m guilty of this.
My daughter offered to bring a small sweet potato casserole. Because she said small, I got a little nervous. My husband loves sweet potato casserole. What if her small version isn’t enough?
Then enters the Holiday meal dilemma…. (a small form of stress).
Too little sweet potato casserole and the earth will surely stop spinning on its axis.
Too much sweet potato casserole and my daughter thinks, "Really Mom, I told you I was bringing a sweet potato casserole!" (But she used that adjective!)
3) Invest in yourself.
Sounds crazy, right? I just said that time is finite, and we don’t get extra time during the Holidays, so something must go.
But not you! You must to take care of yourself or you will burn out. I don’t know your thing, but whatever it is, do it. Run, go for a walk, go to the gym, practice yoga and remember a little mindfulness goes a long way.
4) Do something you would not normally do.
This year my husband and I are taking a vacation in early December. Then I’m going to a conference to finalize executive consulting certification. It’s crazy to add that to my plate in December, but why not? The tree can wait.
I view this vacation as time for me to reflect and think about my 2020 business strategy. I have a new book coming out and I want people to read it. I poured myself into my book, so it’s important to step away and clear my mind. I’m going somewhere different to achieve that.
I’m also so excited to finalize my certification! I expect it to be fun, almost like a second vacation and it tees me up well for 2020. What a great way to end 2019!
Previously, I would have never opted to do these things in December. But there’s nothing like a little change to keep a fresh perspective during busy times.
What will you do differently during the Holidays? I encourage you to take care of yourself, let something go and accept help. Remember the Holidays are magical because they are the Holidays. Shake it up a bit and add a new flavor to your season. And when you feel stressed remember there will be enough sweet potato casserole. If not, the earth will not stop spinning on her axis. She’ll just eat more dessert!
Kimberly Sheldahl is a certified wellness and productivity coach. Her new book, HACK into OZ and Get the M.O.st Out of Life will be published in January. Kimberly uses well known characters to connect wellness and productivity in this fun and informative book. Learn more about your Modus Operandi and get things done! You can follow her on Transformation T.V. in early 2020 where she is a member of the Teaching Faculty. Tune in to learn more about Congruent Transformations.