Right about this time of year the stress and anxiety bubbles up as you begin to plan and execute a holiday season filled with activities, gifts and celebration. Soon your feed will be filled with places to go, people to see and things to do. There are so many wonderful things to do here in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, it can be hard to choose which ones to participate in–especially if you don’t have a vision of what you want the holidays feel like.
Take a big, deep breath.
I want you to imagine it’s January 1st. You’ve just celebrated the end of the year and you’re waking up with the realization that the holidays are indeed over. Think about what activities you did that brought you the most joy, what memories will you cherish forever? What about the activities that you did out of obligation that left you feeling tired and drained? What was the right pace for your family? Did you agree to participating in too many activities? Would a regular bed time routine have held the space for everyone in your family to be present and rested? Did you make time to carry on those family traditions? Are there some traditions that are worth letting go of? What is a realistic budget for what your family can plan to spend on these gifts and activities without causing additional stress?
The purpose of these questions is to give you a vision for what you want this holiday season to feel like and how you want to feel when it’s over without all the holiday stress. As mothers, we all want to give our children and families the most beautifully curated holiday experience. But often, we aren’t sure what exactly a ‘beautifully curated holiday experience’ looks like in reality. This practice of creating a vision and envisioning the small and big moments can help us get clear about which activities and invitations to say ‘yes’ to, and what we really want to say ‘no’ to.
So go on mama, take a moment to dream a little. Imagine those candlelight Christmas stories read to wide-eyed children. Dream of the twinkle-lit walks through the Phoenix Zoo and drives through the neighborhood. Let your heart warm imagining the kids making cookies with grandma. Talk with your partner about ways to stay connected over the next two months. Get clear about which activities will bring you life and joy and which will leave you feeling tired, burnt out and busy. And then say ‘no’ without guilt or second-guessing. You don’t have to have a seasoned filled with holiday stress. Take a big, deep breath and let your vision dance through your head!