Unlike a lot of people I know, I absolutely love coming home to my parents for Christmas. I am grateful for someone taking care of me for once, grateful for the luxury of freshly baked things daily, and a Christmas-movie-addicted family. I am grateful for the long walks with the puppy, and the yearly puzzle we work on together.
So why, then, do I also find it to be the most stressful time of the year?
It is about all the other relationships. You know, all the old friends also coming home, or friends who you haven’t met since the last holiday. For some reason, we feel obliged to sqeeze everybody in, to the point where we might have four coffees out a day. S T R E S S. After having had a life coach to challenge my limiting beliefs about my responsibilities and expectations in relationships (that’s a tough one), I got a few healthy realizations:
- This is my life. It is my valuable time. Just like you are in charge of yours, I decide over mine. I actually do. (What?) Yes, I do.
- I have the permission to say ‘no’ to additional meetings with friends and other family members.
- I have the right to put my need for time with family and ‘me’ time before meeting other people.
- I have the right to cancel meetings without justifying.
This is one of the hardest (life time) journeys I have been on, probably because it involves people that I care about.
Let’s use a great minimalist tool to manage time and relationships better this Christmas! (And get rid of limiting feelings of expectations)
- Make a list of the absolute ‘yes, I NEED to see these awesome people’ ‘s. (I think that it is an easy, quickly made and happy list)
- Book them in for meaningful activity to make sure they get their time.
- For the rest of the people, ask yourself: How much time are you willing to steal from ‘me’ time or quality family time? Book accordingly.
- You are in charge. You have the guilt-free right to all of your time.