How are you doing? We are 1/4 through dealing with the Holiday Hoopla and I know that you are hanging in there 😍 You and Anxiety have worked out the driving arrangements and you are enjoying your role as the designated driver 👍
Thanks so much to all of you who reached out and confirmed my suspicions that many of our Anxious Allies tend to roll toward the Introvert side of the equation🤩 Today I want to focus on more ways you can Keep It Simple (the best way to keep Anxiety from grabbing your wheel AND honor your Introverted nature) so that you can find more recharge time and actually enjoy the Holidays 😘
So last year around this time my daughter begged me to get one of those Gingerbread House building kits. I am not what you might call “crafty” and this was not on my "list of things to do" AND she wore me down. We had done one the year before and she was insistent that she wanted to do another one. I gave in and we brought it home and she went to work. About 3/4 of the way through I noticed that she wasn’t looking so good. She had been eating about as many of the “blocks” (cookies) as she had been using to build the house. I stepped up my game in the builder's assistant role and we managed to finish it off, but she was not a happy camper. The “bug” that was going around school had landed 🤢
Sound familiar? We make all of these grand plans for how the holidays are going to be jam packed with decorating and shopping and parties and all around Hoopla and we just end up stressing ourselves into sickness, which sends us scrambling to figure out Plan B😳 (oh, and Anxiety loves to stand on the side and say shit like "See I told you! You can't handle all of this. This is a nightmare. Everyone will be disappointed and it's all your fault!").
Yeah, remember Anxiety is always looking for ways to use our insecurities against us 😠. This time of year it is even more important to step up our self care game, lower our expectations, accept whatever is actually happening (vs. getting stuck in what we expect to be happening) and to use humor to keep Anxiety from being able to use our content to send us careening off track!
Well, the kind of funny ending to the story is that somehow my daughter ended up associating the smell of the Gingerbread House with sickness and she banished it! We attempted to put it upstairs near the tree and she was having none of it, so outside it went! Just like that her obsession with Gingerbread Houses was over and out 😬
Now if my daughter were some sort of Frank Lloyd Wright in the Gingerbread House world, we would figure out how to move past her avoidance of gingerbread house smells; however, lucky for me, she is not AND our lives are simpler this year. That’s why this “recipe” is perfect for our family:
Now I want to be crystal clear here, I am not telling you to throw out all the fun and traditions and sit at home in your cave until January 2nd 😳. I am suggesting that you choose to focus on the activities of the season that speak to you, not the ones that you think you "should" do or are "supposed to do". Step back, take inventory, and then make a plan (that you write in pencil, 'cause you want to be flexible like that 😉) for focusing on what is really important to you!
I was sharing this concept with a client this week and she shared that she had enjoyed Christmas Day last year as it was spent just with her husband and kids without all of the rushing around to be with extended family (they did that on other days) AND she didn't put pressure on herself to host and therefore took the pressure off of herself to put out the perfect spread!
Just as quickly as I had seen her light up as we talked about what she actually wanted to do (make her favorite meal), I watched her energy drop as she "shoulded" on herself by feeling obligated to invite extended family this year 😔
How did we transform this? By deciding that most of the day (and the meal) would be for she and her husband and kids AND that extended family would be invited for dessert 🤔😍🎉
Keeping it simple can still mean enjoying lots of our favorite traditions, we just have to focus on what they are and be creative in how they fit together to create those "win-win" situations that we all love to be part of 😍
How are you K.I.S.S.in' it this season? Share in the comments 😍😘
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor