December is here! It’s GO TIME in the land of Supermoms. Are you ready for the Supermom Superbowl?
The smell of pine trees, the twinkling of lights, the cranky teens studying for finals, the late nights finishing projects and the last minute requests (“I need black pants, red glitter and a secret santa gift by tomorrow!)
Ah, the joys of the holidays! Save some sanity with this one simple strategy, decide ahead of time.
List all the things you love and look forward to this month. Then list all the duties and responsibilities that fall on your shoulders, beyond your normal duties, between now and January. Your list may look something like this….
Buy presents for kids, bake cookies, take holiday photo, send cards, donate to toy drive, drive to look at lights, attend church service, decorate gingerbread houses, contribute to class party, take the kids to visit Santa, host Hanukah party, wrap presents, ride the “train of lights”, clean house for company, volunteer, go caroling, help with the winter production, spend time with extended family, watch Christmas movies, string popcorn, buy teacher gifts, deliver gifts to neighbors & friends, do Christmas crafts or handmade presents for family, go to the Christmas tree lighting in the city, cook holiday feast, hang exterior lights and decorate, make plans for new years, etc.
No wonder we go a little nuts! This is quite a list above and beyond our already full to-do list!
Now rank each item on your list on a scale of 1-10. The highest number means you are so excited about this one thing, you can hardly do anything else. When you think about it you notice your body (not your head) reacting with a feeling of expansion, light or freedom. The 1 on your list means you feel heavy or tense when you think about it. You want to curl up into a ball and hide or run away. Your head might say “but I love doing that” but your BODY reacts negatively. You don’t have to know why, you just have to acknowledge how your body reacts and give each item a number between 1-10.
Once you have your list ranked between 1-10, take anything that scored a 7 or lower and ask yourself, “Could I just decide NOT to do this?” There is so much freedom in deciding! Your energy goes where your attention goes, so if you hold an exhaustive list in your MIND, without eliminating anything, you will be depleted before you even get out bed! Deciding NOT to do something frees up your energy and creates more enjoyment of the other items on your list.
Are you having a hard time eliminating anything? It might be because you want evidence to prove you aren’t “Mom enough”. So many of us have perfectionistic pictures of what “good moms” do that we create these unrealistic expectations for ourselves. You can choose to stress your way through the holidays and feel exhausted yet accomplished at the end, or you can reduce your expectations and enjoy every aspect of the holidays.
Try this – mentally make the decision to eliminate your lowest scoring items and just see how it feels for a few days to have made the decision. Make the decision to feel calm and peaceful, while being proud of all you accomplish.