Embrace the Stress of the Holiday Season
The holiday hustle and bustle is real, my friend! Are you like me?
- Attending all the Christmas parties
- Remembering theme days at school (Santa hat day, anyone?)
- Shopping for last-minute gifts
- All while running a business?
Phew! It’s a lot. But it’s so important to slow down and embrace the season, because it’s truly just that: a season. It will come and go. I’m learning to be still and let God take over. I truly believe He will never give us something we can’t handle.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”– 1 Corinthians 10:13
Here’s what I tell myself: I’m going through this fire because on the other side, I’m going to be a diamond and I’m going to learn something through this. And whatever I’m going through now, it’s going to be my preparation for that next trial I face.
So, if you’re feeling stuck or you’re struggling with gratitude, I hear you, I get it. Here are a few things that I am embracing in this season right now allowing me to give myself some extra grace.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Call yourself out!
Seriously – identify, acknowledge and accept your feelings.
Are you frustrated? Stressed? Lonely?
It’s crucial to pinpoint our emotions in order to validate them. Notice I’m using the word “validate” and not “complain” – there’s a big difference. Did you know emotional intelligence is a key leadership skill? Instead of ignoring your feelings, acknowledge them and accept them as part of the process. You can avoid letting your emotions cloud your judgment and use them as signals to identify what needs your attention or action.
I’ve been reading a book about behaviors called Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to be. Here’s a link to my Amazon account if you want to check it out! #ad. The book examines the root causes of our actions and attitude and it’s also a supportive resource for overwhelmed parents who need more compassion and less stress.
It’s OK to Take a Break
Listen closely when I say this: your business will not fail if you have to take a time-out from the daily grind. Have you ever had to:
- Say NO to a client?
- Postpone a business call?
- Reschedule a team meeting?
- Prioritize yourself in any way?
Say it with me: your business will not break. It will actually GROW from it – and you’ll grow as a business owner!
I’ll be honest. I’m a recovering people pleaser. Maybe you are, too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh-faced newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s this unwritten rule that we must clock in 40+ hours a week.
Sure, there are times when burning the midnight oil is unavoidable—like when you’re launching a new product or service. But what about the rest of the time?
Newsflash: It’s perfectly legit to hit the pause button, even if you’re the mastermind behind the business hustle. Time to give your entrepreneurial spirit a well-deserved breather! Breaks can boost your creativity and productivity.
Identify Your “Why”
There’s a common theme you’ll discover throughout my content: find your WHY and stay focused on it.
- Your WHY gets you out of bed every morning.
- Your WHY keeps you grounded.
- Your WHY is your motivator.
‘Tis the season for colds and viruses in my house. We’ve had some hard days. I feel like my kids have been sick for the last 3 months. Then on top of doctor appointments, I have meetings to run and businesses to tend to. It’s in those moments when I lean on my WHY that I remember my purpose. It helps me overcome those feelings.
Learning to Let Go: Needs vs. Wants
Sometimes we need to learn to let go. It’s the game of need versus want: when we get really honest with ourselves and identify what we truly need to get done versus what we want to get done.
I want to give my kids all the experiences and the magic and the love during this season, but I need to just love them. See how that works? When we break it down into needs versus wants, it puts things in perspective. And it actually allows us a little breathing room.
Maybe we simply snuggle up and have a movie night with hot chocolate, rather than rush around trying to see every brightly decorated neighborhood, after visiting the zoo, seeing the nutcracker, ice skating downtown, and then going to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.
When things get really crazy and everybody’s asking you to do ALL the things on your Christmas to-do list, just hit pause and evaluate: is this a need or a want?
One last note: “no.” is a complete sentence. And that goes for family, friends, and clients and coworkers.
No is a Complete Sentence
So in the season that you’re in, I hope that you take time for yourself to embrace life: the nice, the naughty and everything in between.
I’m challenging you to pause; it could be just for a second or it could be a day if needed. When we step back, we get our emotions in check, we can assess the situation better. And I bet if you look at the big picture, oftentimes it’s not as bad as it seems.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, whatever season you’re in.
Jennifer Sakowski is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.