Planning Your "Holidaze" Breakdown
(aka What to do when Frosty’s poop hits the snow blower?)
You will plan for the holiday parties both at work and home. You plan the gifts to give, and to who. You even plan on how to decorate the house. Why not plan for your “Holidaze” Break Down?
Let’s be honest; we both know that at some point, your dreams of how your Holidays should be, and cold hard reality are going to crash into each other. It might be something as small as being told you have to work late on the night of your child’s promised "we'll drive around and look at holiday lights" outing, or as large as dealing with your brother’s drinking problem that has gotten worse since the shutdown, your mom’s way of needling you, or the sister you could never measure up to staying at your house for the Holidays and She HAS Not Been Practicing Social Distancing!
Let’s work together on a plan to minimize the broken hearts and maximize your response time. Ready?
Step 1: For a plan to be effective, we need to know what we are planning for. Review the last 3 holidays and see where life fell apart for you. Focus on the situations that really caused you to doubt “Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Man”.
Jot down just a sentence or two about what happened, where it happened and who was involved. No need to write volumes about it, which will only tick you off all over again. Also, stay away from “why” questions, they have a tendency to keep you stuck in a state of victim hood.
Step 2: After writing about the occurrences that caused you grief, now it is time to categorize them. Many times when a client comes in for help, I’ll ask what seems to be the problem and they’ll reply ‘everything!”. Unfortunately for them, their subconscious takes everything at face value and if they verbally affirm everything is a problem then the subconscious makes sure that it is true.
What we are looking for are the “symptoms” of the real “cause”. Your categories are:
a) Physical; also known as the safety of your health and safety of your wealth; this is the domain of overeating, not having your child picked up on time, overspending, or procrastinating. In other words not enough time, not enough money and too many calories.
b) Emotional; also doing business as your relationships and your career; this is where family members that push your buttons hang out, the boss pushing you into overtime, and in general, you not having healthy boundaries.
c) Mental; the level where your beliefs, and how you give back to the community live: this shows up as over committing to a great cause because you got wrapped up in the spirit of the season, or walking around saying “bah humbug” and thinking that maybe Scrooge wasn’t such a bad guy after all…just a little misunderstood.
Step 3: Now take a look at the one category that gives you the biggest challenge. This is the area you want to address this year. Yes, I know that the others will still be a problem but there is something you need to know about how your mind works. You can work on one area and be great, work on two and be just mediocre or try to work on three and your results suck (this is a technical Hypnotist term; please do not attempt to use outside of a clinical setting).
Why set yourself up for failure (again) by trying to fix too much at once? Just pick one.
Step 4: Time to put your plan together or “What do you need when Frosty’s poop hits the snow blower?” If the physical level, feeling safe, is your primary challenge area, then what support can you put together? Maybe a friend can pick up your kids from daycare when the boss sabotages you with overtime? An accountability partner who keeps you health focused during those but-I-just-want-to-whine-with-a-whole-bottle-of-wine-pity-party?
If it’s the emotional/relationship level; Do you need to univite yourself from some else’s company? (I love my first family AND will do whatever is needed to limit my exposure to them.) Can you set up a friend who will listen to 15 minutes of your complaining so you feel that you are being heard and then, like the bartender who cuts off the next drink when you have had too many, stops you before you total out the season?
The mental/giving back level asks; what kind of leader are you? Do you inspire others by your giving or is it a low quality way of gaining importance and significance. Is the child in you still waiting for that pony that never showed up under the tree…only now it’s the expectation that others should be making you happy?
What nourishes you physically, emotionally and mentally so when you begin to starve under the pressure, you can take a few minutes to feed you?
Step 5: How will you reward yourself? This is the area where many will fail because they think the results are the reward. Wrong! What if you were assigned a project at work, you did a fabulous job, even surprising yourself. Now it is payday but your check envelope is empty. When you confront your boss, her reply is that the completed project, done so well by you, is your paycheck. How long before you quit?
It is the same way with the part of you known as Motivation. It has quit on you in the past because there was no payday. Your reward should also correspond to the level that causes you a challenge. Physical; what soothes your body? Emotional; what uplifts you? Mental; what quiets your thoughts?
Step 6: Some closing thoughts…Create an “I don’t do” list; this can be a must around this time of year. This way you are aware of what you say “yes” to habitually and then regret later.
What is on my list? I don’t lend money to my kids, I don’t volunteer for more than one organization, I don’t say yes to a request immediately (I must have 24 hours to think it over and then blame someone else for me saying “no”, usually Drew), and if someone asks me face to face, I only answer over the phone, (it’s easier for me to weasel out that way. Hey, I’m honest; confrontation is not my strong suite, and will never be, so I deal with it best I can).
So, to wrap things up as pretty as a Holiday present; pick your area of challenge, plan your response and then reward yourself. If you need any assistance, your “Holidaze Elf” is here to help.
Dawn Ferguson CI, CH
P.S. My Gift for You...