Posts Tagged ‘holiday stress’

Completing a Year and Starting Anew

December 8, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with December. On one-hand, I am looking forward to the holiday season, the new year and all the festivities that come with it. On the other hand, t’is indeed the season for rush, rush, rush. Balancing all that needs to be done with the competing desire to slow down,  reflect, celebrate  and plan for the year ahead….ahhh, this is my December. 

How about you?

Well to honour this duality of December, I dug back into my archives and re-read some past posts that I wrote that speak to these issues.  I thought it might be useful to offer them up again — kind of like a holiday package of TGIM tips to help you “complete” this past year and get inspired and ready for the year ahead.  So here they are:

1) Coping with the Season of Rush: (this post links to an article I wrote for the Globe and Mail on this topic)

2) What Do You Need to Clean out Before the Year Ends: a prompt to get rid of the clutter and messes (physical, mentally, emotionally) that can get in the way of creating a brand new, spank’n clean new year for you.

3)Annual Year-end/New Year Reflection -Qs for Thoughtstarters: Ahhh, this one is my favorite – I do this every year. The questions pretty much stay but each year the answers evolve.  Copy and paste this to a Word document and reflect away! If you did this last year – it’s worth having a peak back to see what you had to say last year and what’s changed for you.

(Photo by Doug/Borderfilms – Flickr)

Wishing you a season of celebration, renewal, peace, joy and all that feeds into a TGIM work-life!


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In the Globe and Mail today…

December 19, 2007

How fun – the Globe and Mail invited me to write a little article for its “mentor minute” column published in today’s paper. It’s based on my last blog post (managing year-end/holiday stress) but modified a bit (some of my ‘wordy fat’ edited down:)

Click here if you feel like reading it.

To a TGIM work-life and holiday season!


T’is the Season of……RUSH!

December 9, 2007

Busy these days? Madly trying to complete projects before year-end? Is your December to-do list filled with shopping lists, work-related (and other) party planning/attendance/organizing — and more!?

 (photo courtesy of SophiMuc on Flickr)

 Ahhh yes, well t’is the season…to rush, rush, rush

How’s that working out for you? Feeling joyous? Or overwhelmed with too much to do? Feeling a little….

Seasonal Angst…?

Where’s the joy? True, we are a society used to being busy (even addicted to it), but December ‘busy-ness’ tends to take on a whole new dimension. 

I know for myself, if I don’t pay attention, I end up on a crazy treadmill of stuff to shovel off my to-do list.  I caught myself recently feeling so weighed down by it all that I was missing the fun that I know could come with this time of year. A lot on my list is stuff that typically would provide meaning for me. Work that I do enjoy; holiday festivities that are lovely….cards to make; gifts to buy (for people that I do want to express gratitude to); etc.

But instead, I found myself ploughing, ploughing my way through “The LIST”. From one task, thinking and planning the next. Productive and busy…..but not really present.

 Until I remembered to….

“Pay attention to what I’m paying attention to”.

Notice I didn’t say ‘stop doing’ or ‘do less’. I still have a lot I want to do and need to do and will do in the weeks ahead leading up to the December/New Year break. But I reminded myself to pay attention to my inner game.What was going on internally (my inner conversations around all this ‘doing’)?

Who was I being in all my doing?

Well I realized I was defaulting to a worried grinch with myself and giving too much energy to the negative thoughts of worry…….”yikes I have too much to do…I’ll never get it done… am I going to manage it all? What if I fail….Where’s all my free time gone….this is a pain….I have to do x, y,z….then a, b, c….don’t forget blah, blah, blah.”

By focusing so much on the limiting beliefs (the time that I don’t have, doubt….and all kinds of negative self-talk) — I was energizing a negative mindset. And hence, feeling weighed down.

Do you ever do that? Who doesn’t from time to time? We all do. Part of being human. When on the ‘doing treadmill’ we can easily forget who we are. How resourceful we are; what is most important; and what it’s all about anyways.

And sure, there are lots of other practical strategies that we can employ to help us navigate the seasonal demands of work life (being organized, saying ‘no’ when you need to; prioritizing, delegating, etc. ).  But this post isn’t really about all that….it’s about…. 

 The inner game and paying attention and managing your self (and yes, so very ‘EQ-ish” if I might add).

Here’s a helpful equation to keep in mind: 

Our thoughts impact our emotions which impact our choices (and actions or non-actions) which impact our results.

If you check in with that equation –it will help you become more aware of how your mindset is impacting how you navigate any given situation. While you can’t control everything, the good news is you can actually control more of how you ‘be’ with any given situation. Start with becoming more aware of what’s going on internally…your thoughts, beliefs (limiting and/or empowering) — because those are significantly influencing factors in how you’ll feel…and what you will choose to do or not do.

How you experience the lead-up towards and within this holiday season (and any time for that matter) begins with your mindset.

So a few questions to help you pay attention mindfully:

  • What are you thinking?

  • What judgments are you applying to whatever situation you are in this time of year?

  • Do you have ‘evidence’ that these judgments truly hold true (e.g. “I’ll never get this project done on time “) — or are they exaggerated voices of doubt?

  • How’s that internal voice working for you? Feeling joy, peace — or angst?

  • What are some new perspectives you can consider? What’s the voice of reason saying? The voice of inspiration? Try them on….

Feeling a little lighter yet? I know I am….even though that ‘list’ still beckons.

To navigating your work-life with more holiday joy this season!


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