5 Self-Leadership Skills to Help You Have a Happier Holiday Season
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The year-end months are hectic, yet we’re so grateful for the holiday season! It lets us reconnect with family and friends. It’s a time for relaxing, reflecting and assessing how we’ve done over the past year. Then we can do course corrections as needed.
While there’s much joy this time of year, don’t you find that there are also added pressures from crowded stores, roads and airports? Plus there are many more internal pressures, too. Sometimes we get caught up in trying to meet expectations of providing the perfect holiday experience, or being the perfect daughter, sister, wife, and mother. The house has to be just so. The meals must be absolutely delicious. We may find ourselves pushing to perform on a lot less sleep and a lot more stress.
It doesn’t have to be like that! Start planning a strategy now that will make you proud of the way you handle yourself at all times. We’d like to share a few self-leadership suggestions that can help.
What self-leadership skills will help you have a very happy holiday season?
1. Learn from past years. You know yourself and your emotional buttons. And you know your family dynamics and how they push your buttons. You know it’s coming, so how do you want to respond?
We read a great suggestion on Brenda Bence’s website — if you were to have people describe you at the end of the holiday season, what five, positive, descriptive words would you want them to use? This is a time to be very intentional. For example, if you intend to be calm, peaceful, fun, pleasant and loving, then those are the qualities to daily remember, recite, and practice now and on through the season.
2. Predict difficulties. During the holidays, you’re more likely to let your guard down. You might let someone pressure you to do something you really don’t want to do. It may be that extra glass of wine or a second helping, or getting drawn into an old family squabble. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Bump up your practice of mindfulness so you’re highly aware of the messages your body is sending you. Are you feeling pressure in your shoulders and neck or churning in your stomach? Do some deep breathing and stretching, as you consciously release the emotions causing the tension. If that doesn’t do it, go for a walk or just step out of the room for a moment to collect yourself. As Jane Austen so wisely said,
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
3. Have more than one plan. Disappointment can cause you to spiral into negative thoughts and feelings. Resilience will help you absorb any disappointments and help you to calmly choose the next best thing to do, without internalizing the change as a slight to you as a person.
4. Schedule time away to rest. It’s not selfish to practice self-care. In fact, it’s the only way to build your resilience so you can bring out your best self under even the most trying times.
5. Avoid the holiday blues. There is a let down at the end of the season. A great way to counteract this is to plan a really empowering activity in the upcoming year. And we have the perfect suggestion. Why not attend our Bring Forth the Leader Within 3rd Annual Retreat? It’s going to be held in beautiful Costa Rica in a setting that will relax and stimulate you to dig deeply and find the way to live differently, love fully, and profoundly impact your community and the world.