Finding a lifestyle that works for you Holiday “Shoulds”


If you’re like me, you may experience a high degree of pressure during the holidays. Even though it should be an opportunity to share good will and spend quality time with others; it becomes more about gifts, parties and balancing the checkbook. This year I decided to take control of my holiday stress and simplify my life by concentrating my time, energy and focus on the real meaning of this holiday season. In this article, I will take a look at my holiday to-do list and attempt to remove the unnecessary bulk. A few examples:


  • Shop for holiday party dresses
  • Shop for Christmas gifts
  • Shop for hostess gifts
  • Buy dish to pass (that’s right, this girl does not cook)
  • Update my calendar with holiday party dates and times
  • Figure out how to clone myself
  • Now clone myself

What do I consider stressful?

Holiday Parties – Getting ready for parities used to be simple and fun. Although you can’t tell from this list, I am invited to ten holiday parties this year. Ten? Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered and grateful to have options – but it’s time for me to ask myself, is it necessary to attend this many functions in one month? Does picking and choosing the way I should divide my time add value to the holiday experience, or do I just feel obligated to try and do it all because I should?

Holiday gifts

Can you relate to this? Spending 30 minutes on the hunt for a parking space that’s less than two miles from the front door of the mall. Spending weeks searching for gifts on-line, and in stores, trying to find something that a person would love. Only to settle on what I think a person will use for the next couple of days.

Buying gifts for me when I really should be shopping for others – Of course I think I should buy something for myself since the stores are having unbelievable sales.

So how do we deal with these stresses?

Think outside of the box. Holiday experiences don’t have to be the most expensive, time consuming or hectic. I just need to stop thinking that I should, or have to behave this way in order to enjoy Christmas. The added pressure can be so distracting and overwhelming that I tend to miss out on the spirit of the season. I’m not being generous just because I spend a ton of money on gifts or decide to spread my time so thin that I can’t even catch a breath. This season, I promise not to engage in anything that involves draining my wallet or positive energy. My heart will be focused on my many blessings and the well-being of those less fortunate.

So, I encourage you to take a moment and evaluate your shoulds, also known as unrealistic habits that create conflict, resentment and stress. Remove unproductive thoughts like: We should all be together for the holidays, everyone should have the perfect gift, I should buy a new outfit for the party, and the list goes on and on. Let go of the idea that things have to be a certain way. Give yourself permission to only do the things that make you reflect on how great life truly is.

Tis the season! Happy Holidays – As always, thanks or following my story.

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