Every year, I get caught up in the momentum of the holidays. I feel the pressure sit on my chest in anticipation of to-do lists that feel like pulling an all-nighter for the most important test of your life. Lots of expectations dumped into an endless stream of orchestrating holiday perfection.
Last year, I did a few workshops on helping people figure out the type of holiday they really wanted. We focused on subtracting rather than adding. We talked about the shoulds, the obligations and the fear of missing out or not being “good enough” with our efforts. We noticed how we felt when we chose those things over our own best self-care.
So, we used a very simple mantra that guided us in a way that brought us more joy and less stress. It started with asking yourself to name the feeling you want to feel most this holiday season.
Mine is connection.
Now, here’s the trickier part. I have to truthfully look at everything that asks of me, my time, my energy and my resources in the name of celebrating the holidays. And I ask myself the same, simple question for each.
For example, it may sound like this . . .Does this “Pinterest-style cookie-bake-off-fest” feel like connection? If combing the inter web for the perfect cookie recipe and then scouring three stores for an obscure ingredient does not bring me closer to connection, I honor that answer. Now, this isn’t to say, I can’t better an offer (like I rely on a family favorite cookie recipe) in order to still get the connection I crave (baking with some amazing women).
As we begin the next 6 weeks of holiday fanfare, take a few minutes to ask yourself how do you want to feel. Let that answer guide your yes’s and your no’s for the entire season. My hunch is that it’ll bring you closer to those things that really mean the most to you during the holidays.