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Off Balance On Purpose through the Holidays

Complete this statement: Tis the season to be ___________.

For many, unfortunately, the reality is that holidays are anything but “jolly.”

In fact, during this time of year, negative emotions run rampant, as millions find ‘tis the season to be frantic, depressed, cash-strapped, guilt-ridden, lonely, exhausted, and generally overwhelmed.

Without a doubt, holidays cause us to be “off balance.” And that’s exactly their purpose. This time of year is supposed to be a departure from the normal routines of life and a meaningful season to focus on the traditions and people who matter most to us.

One of the primary reasons holiday occasions may “snowball” out of control (pun intended) is that we attempt to create, for ourselves or for others, a perfect version of what could be. The problem with that is that it is impossible to please everyone and satisfy unrealistic expectations. In trying to do so, we may spend enormous energy and money and experience emotional turmoil.

In the midst of “holiday madness,” it can be difficult to experience a sense of purpose. In order to readjust your alignment and adopt an empowering stance, avoid these common stress inducers and implement some of the suggested remedies for holiday stress.

Primary stress-inducers include:

  • Shopping for perfect presents, and spending beyond your means.
  • Hosting or attending holiday gatherings.
  • Focusing on what you don’t have or wish you had.
  • Becoming self absorbed and isolated from others.
  • Over extending yourself with too many commitments.

7 Ways get back “On Purpose.”

  1. Reflect upon the true meaning of the holidays, for you.
  2. Simplify your plans and purchases. Less may actually be much more.
  3. Pace yourself and get adequate rest. Avoid holiday burn out.
  4. Stick to a budget and enjoy the holidays within your means.
  5. Plan ahead so that you won’t become reactive and stressed out.
  6. Instead of making this all about you and your family, volunteer your time to make the holidays special for someone else.
  7. Focus on connections, not commitments. Stay in the moment.

Remember that how you spend your time demonstrates what you truly value. There’s no time like the present. And there is no present like your time. So lean forward, off balance on purpose, and create meaningful moments for yourself and for others.

  • Susan Whitaker says:

    This was pretty helpful right now. It is very dark in Alaska right now and it is often hard to keep that positive holiday attitude or mood. Thanks for the pep talk.

  • Andrea Blake says:

    Always such an inspiration at just the right time! I’m sure a piece, if not all of this is relative to everyone in one way or another, whether it be as a refresher or something new to live by. We should all “Chillax”!

    Thank you Dan, and Happy Holidays!

  • What a great post, Dan. I particularly love the emphasis of letting go of “perfect.” That can be so freeing and stress-reducing. As the mood of most people I speak with this days borders on overwhelm, I know that your thoughts will be extremely helpful to many.

    On another note, had the pleasure of hearing your speak at two NAPO conferences. You were fantastic!

    Wishing you a happy & healthy holiday season.

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