Christmas is a time of giving and receiving. We give presents to family and friends and usually receive some in return. We give our time to others by baking cookies for school or hosting Christmas dinner at our house. But how much do you give to yourself?
We often get caught up in the hectic pace of Christmas. We end up feeling that we MUST buy presents for this person and that person. We take on too much responsibility because we believe family and friends expect it of us. In the end, we feel exhausted and lose the “true” spirit of Christmas.
What would happen if you didn’t do it at all? What would happen if you slowed down a bit and took the time to “be” rather than constantly “do”? What would happen if you said “no” this time instead of taking on one more thing? People often cite that they are afraid of the consequence of saying “no”. Someone might be disappointed in them if they don’t fulfill an expectation.
Before committing to something, take some time to think about this expectation that is being set for you. First, is this a real demand or a perceived demand? Sometimes we believe that other people expect something of us, but often it is just a perception rather than reality.
Second, what would be the outcome if you didn’t fulfill it? Someone may be disappointed. Is it your responsibility to make sure other people live without disappointment? Sometimes we do things so that other people don’t feel let down. But is this disappointment valid? Should we do things just to avoid other people being upset with us? There are times when we have to fulfill expectations because we have chosen to; however, many times we are doing it only to prevent disappointing others. Be conscious of your motivation.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas – the office parties, the family get-togethers, the Christmas concerts, and crowded shopping malls – find ways to take care of you. Be conscious of whether you are doing or buying something to prevent another’s disappointment or because you actually want to do/buy it. Follow your intuition, become more aware of your motivation, and listen to your body. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, you are probably managing too much.