Rules at Christmas
As we go into the holidays, we tend to put a lot of pressure on the experience. This is true for all holidays but this one has a few extras.
What internal pressures come up? Usually there are some internal rules about what our experiences will be.
How much we will relax.
How much fun we will have.
How everyone will get along.
How romantic and loving our partners will be.
How ‘well behaved’ our kids/family/friends will be.
How certain days or certain activities will go.
Any of it sound familiar?
Actions to consider
Above and beyond creating a new awareness (if you don’t already have one) of what your ‘rules’ are and whether they might need tweaking, relaxing, or letting go of.
Here are four practical steps to consider, relating to those expectations, and others. Over the festive period:
1. Tell people what is important, for you, and why it’s important.
We sometimes think people should know what’s important to us. Or assume that what is important to us, is important to them.
If having romantic dinners and cuddles is important, share it, as they may have solitude in mind.
If present opening together, is your key Christmas family gathering. Or no phones at the table. Share this in advance. And why it’s important to you.
Ask others to do the same, and share what is important for them, with you.
2. Ensure you have space to do nothing, or for the things you enjoy. Letting go of any guilt from not doing, or having fun, just for you.
Isn’t it interesting when we were taught it’s not okay to do nothing. Or it’s not okay to have too much fun, relaxing, laughing, and with people we want?
3. Keep an eye on your boundaries, promises to yourself, and where necessary, gain the support of others.
It may be this year setting new boundaries, or keeping to them, or setting expectations is important.
Perhaps, it’s having those tough conversations (in advance) i.e…
I love you, and am looking forward to spending time with you. At the same time when x happens/you do x, this causes me to feel y and in future please z. I appreciate you may not realise this has been the case, it isn’t intentional, and I wanted to share this to make sure we continue to stay close and have a lovely day together.
If you want or need support from someone else, be clear in your mind as to the details, and share what this looks like for you. Invite them to share their own solutions for supporting you.
4. Let it go and be clear.
If you are responsible for delegating any tasks (and it may be 2020’s goals include a change around your being ‘in charge’). Be very clear what needs doing, the various stages, and when by. Then as much as you can, let go.
a) someone else will not do it exactly the same way as you
b) you have a lot of experience and they may need to do it a few more times before getting it right
c) if you’ve always told them what to do, and then micromanaged ‘it’ in the past, then they’ve probably stopped thinking for themselves. People learn through their mistakes and being in control of ‘it’ from start to finish
d) done is better than perfect. What % can you agree with yourself, that you will be content with. For example visual presentation of something, time leeway, how the dishwasher is stacked, or whatever it may be.
Some of this isn’t easy, especially in emotionally charged situations, or if you have not had these types of conversations which each other before. It is a comfort zone and learning process. Pick which one(s) can make the biggest difference for you, with a risk you are willing to take, and go with that choice, if you wish.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others.
Remember we often ask people to judge us by our intentions. Yet judge others by their actions.
Does any action stand out for you?
Have a wonderful festive break, and if you want to shape your festive break even further. You can find Creating a Lovely Christmas (for you) here.