This post was originally published in 2016, but it’s fitting as we enter the holiday season again.
I’m working on this blog post for about the tenth time this week. This is probably about the fifth or sixth topic I’ve started writing about. And the reason that I ended up on this idea is because of the struggle I had with this week’s post.
‘Tis the Season to Cut Yourself Some Slack
As I continued to get stuck, not wanting to write, not feeling compelled to write about the topic I chose, and choosing to write for other projects instead of my looming post deadline, I thought about not posting at all. In the first six months of blogging I’ve only missed a post once. So I thought “Is it a big deal if I miss a day?”
The more I thought about it- no, it’s really not that big of a deal. (I’m guessing none of you would be heartbroken if I skipped a post. You probably wouldn’t even realize it!!).
It’s not a big deal to anyone, except for me. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized
Much of the stress that we experience is created by no one other than ourselves. Yes, our families, work, and experiences contribute to that stress, but our interpretations and reactions to those situations are often bigger influences of the stress we experience.
This post, for example. I could have simply decided that I wouldn’t post this week. I could have accepted that no except for me cared, and move on. But I couldn’t (as you’ve probably figured out by now!). I kept trying to write. Kept trying to come up with something that I was motivated to share about. Having something to say (in real life or in my writing) has never really been an issue but this time it was.
Even though I pushed forward and found something to write about, it made me realize that we need to cut ourselves some slack. We need to be willing to take the pressure off and expect less of ourselves. Because chances are, you expect WAY MORE of yourself than others do, and you might even be expecting unrealistic levels of what you can accomplish. This is how we end up burnt out, stressed out and possibly unhappy.
I think now, more than ever, as we are getting into the holiday season, that this is the time to cut ourselves some slack. Because chances are, we’re taking on more than normal this time of year. On top of the usual work, kids, home, friends, and more; there’s even more now.
The Holidays Add More
This time of year, you might also be attending parties that you need to shop for (think food, gifts, or even ugly sweaters), you have gifts to buy (for the holidays, but also hostess gifts and maybe for gift exchanges), and special meals to plan for and then make. You might also be baking cookies, and decorating, and buy cute matching jammies…the list goes on (and on).
As if you weren’t aware of it already, this is the time of year where things can get really overwhelming without realizing it. And ironically, this is also a time of family and fun, and in theory, relaxing because most of us do get a bit of time off and more time is made for family.
I actually read an eBook recently, by fellow blogger Rebecca Cofiño, called Stress Free Holidays and it really hit home. It highlights all that the holidays can entail and how you can tackle the season in a way that creates less stress. I’d highly recommend it if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, or you know that it’s coming.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
‘Tis the season for so many things. Family, happiness, stress, laughter, love, and also to cut yourself some slack. Here’s how you might do that:
- Loosen your own personal deadlines a bit: maybe you want to have your house cleaned by Thanksgiving, but it’s not going to happen without massive amounts of stress. Focus on one or two rooms now and tackle the rest after the left-overs are done.
- Start some of your projects (or shopping) early so you can be done well before the end of the year.
- See where you can simplify, whether it’s bringing pre-made appetizers to a party versus making at home, or sending electronic gift cards to family members rather than agonizing over what to buy.
- List out all of your tasks, purchases, and activities (There’s really great guidance in Stress Free Holidays). Though this is overwhelming, it can help you plan and see where you can make some cuts.
The holidays are full of people and emotions which lead to lasting memories. This year I’m going to try to create many positive memories and really limit the stressful experiences because I am the one who controls how I think, feel, and react.
I may not be able to control anything else around me, but I can definitely cut myself some slack on the journey through the holidays and I am predicting it will help me head into the New Year with more joy and less stress than usual.
How will you cut yourself some slack this year?