No matter how much I love the Holiday Season, there comes at least one point that I feel completely overwhelmed by holiday stress or feel everything is just too much and need to take several deep breaths and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie to re-boot and remember why I love it so much and enjoy all the little things (like Christmas carols and sappy movies with holiday romance) and let go of all the other things happening around me.
When my wise friend Paula wrote this inspiring approach to managing the experience of the holiday season I knew that I knew that I absolutely, positively had to share it with all of you!
If you have been reading this blog for a while you know I love the power of a great question. Questions are so awesome because I believe we find ourselves in the answering of them. And as we change and grow our answers change and evolve as well.
I know this is a set of questions I will come back to year after year to help me set powerful intentions for the holiday season and I hope you will find them as inspiring and useful as I did.
I have a hot tip for this week’s post – grab a blank sheet of paper or your favorite journal and pen and answer these as you read.
Yes now. We’ll wait.
Got that pen? Ready?
I proudly and gleefully introduce you to my friend, and brilliant success coach Paula Onysko who will guide us through creating a happier holiday season with 8 simple questions.
Here we go…..
Escape Holiday Stress: 8 Questions to Help You Create a Happier Holiday Season
Do you feel rushed heading into the holiday season, not having the time for what matters most to you? Do you ever come out the other side feeling exhausted or stretched financially? Do you long for a different way to celebrate that honours your health, happiness and wallet?
You might be wondering why I’m talking about holidays already. Well, they are right around the corner, and because I want to do them differently this year – which means looking at them ahead of time. I’m planting this seed in your heart too so you can decide for yourself how they will unfold in your world.
In the past few years, I’ve worked right up to Christmas, had my accounting books to do right before New Year’s, and just felt rushed. Baking (which is something I love) has been last minute. And what always gets shortchanged for me are more things that bring deeper meaning to the holidays.
We live in a truly abundant world – and yet, we need to call forth abundant experiences, or else they slip on by.
To help you, here are 8 questions to contemplate as you design your ideal Holiday Season.
- What are the qualities you want to experience?
It’s easy to get caught up in plans or activities.
Start first with the feeling.
How do you want to feel as you flow through the holidays?
What are the qualities you want to embrace?
Peace? Fun? Connection? Purpose? Abundance? Wellness? Magic?
- What are the most important elements of the holiday season for you?
Once you know how you want to feel, then it’s easier to decide the most important elements.
For example, if peace is a quality you want to experience, then avoid jamming your calendar with activities.
If fun is your desire, make sure you plan activities that are fun for you. If connections are important, brainstorm who you want to connect with and how you can do so in meaningful ways.
- What’s a tradition that you long for?
Perhaps this is something new to you, or one from your childhood.
This year, I want to bring more music into my world. Christmas concerts were such an important part of my childhood that I want to reconnect with the magic of music.
What about you? What tradition do you long for? And think outside the box. Is there a tradition from another family or religion you’d like to adopt?
- What do you feel pressure to have or do during the holidays that you’d rather not?
Remember, this is your life. If the office Christmas party doesn’t resonate, don’t go.
If you’d rather not bake all of sweet treats and then be tempted to eat them when you’ve been working so diligently to stay healthy and lean, then say no or experiment with a healthier treat.
If exchanging gifts with a friend isn’t something you feel drawn to anymore, consider offering a different suggestion – like skipping the gift and arranging a fun get-together or volunteering somewhere.
- What feels like a manageable and peaceful amount of money to spend during the holidays?
Consider gifts, food, decorations, entertainment and events, etc.
Deciding in advance how much you want to spend and then sticking to it brings peace and self-honour (not to mention teaching your children how to be financially responsible).
I’ve noticed that many children are disconnected from what things cost. They just see what they want on TV and aren’t learning the other side of the equation. So be honest first with yourself about what amount feels do-able and then honour that.
You may need to have a loving conversation with family members to let them know the beautiful boundary you are establishing around spending. That’s okay!
- How do you want to feel after the holidays and going into 2015?
When we start with the end in mind, the path to take becomes clearer. The truth is many people get sick during the holidays and on average gain 5 to 8 lbs between Halloween and New Year’s. Yikes! What do you choose for yourself? Personally I want to begin 2015 feeling alive, rested, lean, energized and deeply happy and fulfilled. How about you?
- What are the nourishing daily habits that will keep you healthy and happy?
To support your desire in #6, what are the nourishing daily habits to put in place now and honour as you move through the holidays?
It’s a total disservice to your life to wait until the New Year, when health and happiness can be yours today.
Pick 1 to 3 habits to focus on. Here are some suggestions:
- Set a morning intention.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Up your green veggies.
- Get proper sleep.
- Watch your sugar intake.
- Move your beautiful body.
- Take downtime to relax, centre and reflect.
- Start a gratitude journal to capture what you are grateful for.
- What support do you need?
When you ask for help, you invite others to fulfill divine roles. What a gift that is.
For some of you, the holidays may be a difficult time. All the more reason to ask for support in the ways you need it most.
Asking for help is a sign of self-love and strength, not weakness. Do you need someone to help with a meal? Do you need emotional support in dealing with a loss? Do you want a friend to accompany you to an event you long to go to?
As you consider what you need to create a peaceful, loving, happy holiday experience, remember that the above questions are great to ask family members and have them contribute ideas to your shared holiday experience.
Surround yourself with exactly what you need and desire this holiday. A thousand angels are ready and willing to help make it magical for you.
Paula Onysko is a success coach and business strategist with 11 years of experience as a corporate consultant and thriving entrepreneur. She helps soulful women in business master the mindset, communications and daily habits to make great money in harmony with their health and personal happiness. Paula incorporates practical tools including the Sacred Money Archetypes®, energy alignment and EFT tapping to help women shed emotional blocks that prevent them from creating the amazing lives they are meant to live.
Paula’s wisdom has been featured in the business section of the Calgary Herald, in corporate boardrooms, with online women’s groups and local workshops in Canada. She works privately with women business leaders all over the world via phone and Skype to ensure they are well-supported and aligned as they make their impact in their business, bank account and the world. Visit www.paulaonysko.com to learn more.
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What is one quality you want to bring more of into your holiday season? Please share in the comments.