When the calendar flips to December, do you feel a rush of excitement about the holiday season or a surge of emotions related to increased anxiety and frustration? It is natural to experience additional stress during the holiday season. I often hear variations of, “there is so much to do and not enough time!” Already busy and multi-tasking schedules are compounded by additional obligations such as: parties, shopping, volunteering, travel, creating costumes for the children’s school musical performance…and many more. I encourage you to use “four powerhouse words” for the holiday season: I Give Myself Permission(IGMP). Say this phrase out loud as an affirmation. What does it feel like to voice these words, or even add some “oomph” to your tone for emphasis? Let’s review several examples:
· I will attend my neighborhood holiday party, but IGMP to leave early so I can be in bed by 11 pm.
· IGMP to not send holiday cards this year.
· I will buy holiday gifts but IGMP to downsize my list of purchases.
· IGMP to say “No, thank you” to a party-invitation.
· I signed up to bring a pecan pie to the office party and IGMP to buy the pie ready-to-eat from the grocery store.
· IGMP to use paper plates for our family holiday meal instead of Aunt Mae’s antique china…hooray for easier clean-up!
It may take practice to incorporate this phrase into your self-care language; but, you–and your time and energy–are worth it!