Holidays offer a very special window on time. Festive smells and sights re-kindle childhood associations. Yet get-togethers illuminate how swiftly seasons fly past, too. Years become decades. Faces of loved ones arrive, age and disappear. How does the passage of years affect your sense of time now?
Challenge: Potential Holiday Overload.
As you grow older, do you notice how responsibilities mount, stamina declines, and tasks take longer to accomplish? This can be a recipe for steaming holiday stress!
So, to keep your basket of time from overflowing, I encourage you to think about activities you can remove to make room for upcoming festivities.
Opportunity #1: The Joy of Letting Go.
Call on your maturity to demonstrate flexibility regarding low-priority matters. Remove from your schedule anything extra during the next few months.
It’s a gift to friends and family when you let unrealistic holiday expectations evaporate. Relaxed conversations in advance about scaled-down preparations may help with that.
Allow events to unfold naturally. The less you demand from others, the more you’ll enjoy them, and others can always volunteer to do more if they choose.
Opportunity #2: Ground Yourself Using Assertiveness.
As much as it helps to be flexible, it’s also important to know where to stand firm. Using your mature negotiating skills, advocate for yourself when significant issues are at stake.
Before committing to activities consider your current level of health and resilience. Then ask yourself:
- How much alone time do you need each day?
- What are your other baseline needs?
- How do you take care of yourself in stressful situations?
- How many social activities can you comfortably engage in?
- What activities would you like to delegate?
When you were a child, the “magic” of holidays may have delighted you. As a grounded adult, you may marvel instead at how timely stepping forward and stepping back enables you to both care for yourself and appreciate those around you.
© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.