The dust has finally settled.
And the holiday stampede is trailing off in the distance. It can bring love, joy, gratitude and deep connection with family… but also shockwaves of stress and anxiety along with it.
Here are two common patterns of anxiety and stress that run rampant for the Holidays.
(But if you read carefully, you’ll notice these two ring-true all year long)
Plus, unlike other times of the year, it’s harder to escape these commitments.
There’s staggering pressure for making it the best experience, purchasing the best gifts, preparing the best meals – all the while holding it together for loved ones. And while this love for others is admirable it leaves a trail of exhaustion, overwhelm and stress in its wake.
So what’s the holiday goer to do?
Just about everyone I’ve met who struggles with holiday stress gets caught up in a vicious cycle of taking care of everyone else… but themselves. And this happens at times year round too, doesn’t it?
If I can hand you one shiny gift this holiday season it’s this:
I challenge you to reignite your focus on taking care of yourself.
You deserve it.
You’ll enjoy it.
You’ll be more productive.
You’ll be happier.
You’ll be less stressed.
You’ll be stronger.
You’ll serve others better.
Some people believe:
If they take care of themselves, it’ll take away from others.
Quite the contrary…
The more you take care of yourself, the more you can take care of others.
In fact, researchers Van Yperen, Buunk, and Schaufeli, published a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology on this connection. They found that health care professionals that were more immune to burnout were those who helped others but also sought out help and support when they needed it.
It’s like that safety lecture on a plane. In an emergency when those yellow rubber masks flop down from the ceiling, the instructions are: “Please secure your own mask before those around you”
Same thing here:
If you want to help others, we have to help ourselves.
If you want others to be at their best, we have at to be at our best.
And there are lots of ways to make that happen.
Here’s a jump-start though:
What activities energize you?
What hobbies or activities allow you to be at your best?
What activities really make you happy?
What activities used to bring joy to your life?
And then get the ball rolling on those again.