Do you over-give during the holiday season?
Everybody is busier during the holidays. Everybody has a “to do” list. Everybody has some vague idea of what the holidays “should” be. But Nobody seems to have enough time or resources, and it is a given that people will surely jockey for yours.
You may get so caught up in the spirit of giving that you give away all of your time and resources. You may overcommit and end up overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted, and grumpy.
Trust me, you will have enough stressors without overcommitting your time and resources.
The holidays are a magnifying glass for stressors!
Why all the stress?
Changes to eating, sleeping, exercise routine
The pressure of making radical changes in the new year
Family (yes, I said it)
Trying to meet the expectations of others
And many, many more…
Stress CAN hurt you.
Stress raises cortisol levels and can trigger varying degrees of “fight or flight” response. You know, the response that often accompanies bad decisions and the blurting out of things that cannot be unsaid. It also lowers testosterone – the happy hormone that promotes relaxation, healing, learning, and the power to reason.
In effect, stress lowers the strength of your immune system and may leave you vulnerable to seasonal bugs. No wonder “cold and flu season” follows the holidays so closely – everyone has exhausted their energy reserves!
Isn’t that reason enough to save time to take care of yourself?
Make YOU part of your holiday plan
Make a plan for the holidays so that you know exactly how much time and resources you have available for things that are important to you. Be sure to leave plenty of time in your plan to get enough sleep, to relax, and to eat a healthy diet (when you can!).
Start practicing putting YOU first!
You may already have trouble putting your needs first. During the holidays, demands on your time, resources, and energy can become aggressive. It can be hard to set boundaries and say “no” – especially to people you love, causes you care about, and escapist indulgences that can derail you (I’m talking about that extra treat or that “one more hour” at a party…).
Learn to say “no” the right way…
Everybody knows how they want to feel during the holidays. They are trying to get that feeling without knowing how it’s going to happen. They may look to you for help finding that feeling – of happiness, of love, of fulfillment, of importance….
You might want to help them find that feeling but doing so might work against your benefit. Here are some of the reasons you might overextend yourself during the holidays:
You may want to keep the peace at any cost.
You might worry that saying no will invite anger, tantrums, repercussions, or retaliation.
You may fear rejection if you say no.
You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings.
You need to be liked and think that saying “yes” to everything is the key to being liked.
You want to save the day and be the hero (giving you respect, power, and praise).
You simply really want to help everybody and will do so at your own expense.
You have failed to accurately estimate your available time, energy, resources (We will talk about that in the next Everyday Tapping).
3 ways to get comfortable setting holiday boundaries
Plan your holiday.
Make a plan. Make a schedule. Make a budget. Stick to your plan! Include time for yourself every day and make that time absolutely nonnegotiable. Build some buffer time into you plan so that you can step up and help people who are genuinely experiencing emergencies.
Learn to say “no” the right way.
Is there a right way to say “no”? Yes! The right way to say “no” is from a position of confidence, love, and acceptance.
Everyone wants to have a happy and good holiday. For some people, this is the only vacation they are going to get! If they are spending it with you, help them to make it a great holiday.
Remember that everyone wants to feel loved, accepted, and worthy. Find something to like, appreciate, or respect about everyone with whom you interact.
Think of these things ahead of time so that your first interaction feels good to them. Make them feel important and respected. Planning for interactions ahead of time will change your demeanor, your nonverbal language, your word choice, and your attitude to one of loving acceptance. People respond to that!
They may not respond immediately, but if you persistently approach people with respect and acceptance, they will soften. They will relax. They will start to show YOU their best side.
Say “no” from a place of loving acceptance…
Start with words of validation and praise like, “I know this is a stressful time of year/day and you are doing a great job managing it.”
Then add an example of something they have done well. For example, “Dinner was delicious! I am always amazed by your cooking!”
Or “I can tell that you have been going nonstop.”
Or “you have been working your ass off!” (Who can argue with that!?)
Let them know how you can help.
**Be sure to only commit to half of the time that you think you have available. Whatever someone else asks you to do will likely take twice as long as you think it will. Plan for it!
“I see how hard you are working and I do want to help you. I have x amount of time on x day – would that work for you?”
“Lucky for you, I saved a little bit of time/Resources for emergencies like this. Here is what I have to offer you in the way help.”
Let tapping help you to release some of the pressure you might be feeling to overextend yourself. Start by thinking of the last time that you ran yourself ragged because you took on too many responsibilities. You can also think of the upcoming holiday season and the temptations you will have to take on so much. Imagine it in your mind as vividly as possible.
Tap this protocol out loud.
On your Karate Chop (KC) Point:
Even though I overextend myself, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I say yes to things that are beyond my resources, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I feel like I have to say yes, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Top of your head (TH): I want to help.
Eye Brow (EB): I always help.
Outside of the Eye (OE): I am the rock.
Under Eye (UE): Everybody relies on me.
Under Nose (UN): Where would they be without me?
Chin (CH): It makes me feel useful.
Collarbone (CB): It makes me feel needed.
KC: I want to see them happy.
TH: I will do whatever it takes.
EB: And every year, it takes a lot out of me.
OE: I end up putting my needs last.
UE: I run my energy down trying to do too much.
UN: I usually have little energy left to enjoy my holiday.
CH: In fact, I often need a holiday after the holidays!
CB: Sometimes I want to say “no.”
KC: But I always worry about what will happen if I do.
TH: What if they get mad?
EB: What if they upset other people because I won’t do what they want me to do?
OE: What if they reject me?
UE: What if they replace me?
UN: I have said “no” before and it wasn’t pretty!
CH: They got so mad!
CB: I felt SO guilty!
KC: And ended up overextending myself.
TH: I used up my time and resources for them.
EB: It wasn’t worth it.
OE: But I’ll do anything to keep the peace.
UE: I wonder if I can keep the peace and take care of myself this year.
UN: What if I make taking care of ME part of my plan.
CH: I can still help other people when I am needed.
CB: But this time I will stay within my plan.
KC: There are other people who can help.
TH: People have come to rely on me because I am always available.
EB: It’s ok for me to take time for me this year and hold on to it – no matter what.
OE: When I do, I will be happier.
UE: I will be better rested.
UN: I will be MUCH more pleasant to be around.
CH: I will be more resourceful.
CB: They will be OK if I put my health, resources, and well-being first.
KC: Everyone will be ok when I say “no” to things that would overextend me.
TH: In fact, by saying “no” to those things, I set a good example.
EB: I give them permission to do the same (even to me).
OE: When they learn to give only to the degree that is healthy for them,
UE: They will have a better and healthier holiday.
UN: I choose to make a plan and stick with it.
CH: I choose to give myself the gift of presence this year.
Take a deep breath.
It may seem weird to put yourself first – especially during the holidays! Remember that by taking care of yourself, you are giving other people permission to do the same. You are setting a good example.
When you put yourself first, you will have more to give. You will have more energy. You will be in a better mood. You will be more fun!
If you have deeper issues taking on too much – too many responsibilities – contact me now and discover how beneficial it is to put yourself first.
Happy Holiday tapping!
PS – be sure to check out the companion video!