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Three stress-busters for Christmas

December 15, 2011

Here I am back from my Philadelphia trip brimming with new ideas and motivation… kinda weird for this time of year, I know but, I’ll tell you more about that in January.

Looking back at the coaching sessions I was doing the week before I left I noticed something extraordinary. Almost every client session seemed to veer towards the same themes so here are my three powerful challenges for you to close the year.

1) Simplify
At Christmas we set up a vast and complicated web of expectations on what needs to be bought, organised, people to be thanked, visitors, parties to attend, catering, cards, presents and more presents.

Road rage gets more out of control at this time of year. Suicides and depression are higher. Marriages seem to reach their final straw. It’s like the worst kind of annual crescendo and it’s most often caused by the stress we put on ourselves.

The big question is, how much of this really needs to be done before the 25 December deadline? How complicated does the big day need to be to fully appreciate your guests and have some laughs with them?

How many people would be just as happy to receive your present, card or thanks after the New Year when they actually have some time to stop and chat to really connect?

How many parties or functions can you cancel where you only know the host and you could catch up with them in January and have a decent conversation?

Challenge number one is to see how much you can simplify this December. Lighten your load on things to do and people to see. Keep it to the highest priorities and create smaller To Do lists. The goal is to calm nerves, reduce the likelihood of car accidents, arguments and frowns which require Botox. A lighter schedule will allow you enjoy every day so you don’t fall asleep at Christmas dinner.

2) Live in the moment
This was another point which popped up over and over again. We occupy our minds with so much stuff we spend all our thoughts on what needs to be done and fixed. The sign of an over occupied mind is one that wakes up stewing over what it went to bed thinking about.

So challenge number two is make a habit of stopping, even just for 90 seconds, several times a day and notice all your senses. Run through them like a list. What do I smell right now? What do I hear, see, taste, feel? Try not to judge them as good or bad just notice they are there.

Sounds like a bit of a shocker I know but once I was having a conversation about the smell of armpits. I said “well a sweaty armpit smells better than a dead armpit”. Hey, you have to give me points for optimism!

By stopping to breathe deep (preferably without your nose in an armpit) and focussing on your senses you release just a little bit more stress and feel some gratitude for being alive. We live in the most amazing time ever right now. Let’s not miss it.

3) Give as you would receive
One of Australia’s Master Business Coaches Barbara Anderson talked in her newsletter about a Sydney trend at the moment of paying it forward. More details here: The idea is to do a good deed when it’s not expected and walk away knowing you’ve made someone smile.

It’s a great initiative and Law of Attraction theory says that when you give in this way, without requiring something in return, you confirm your belief that you have more than enough to share. In doing this you inevitably attract MORE prosperity, kindness and support from others in your near future. Sound like fun?

So challenge number three, to complete at least once a day until 31 December, is pay it forward. It may not cost anything. When I lived in a house with a lawn I would mow my neighbour’s front lawn as well. They loved me and it built a great neighbourly relationship. It feels good. You can pat yourself on the head and know you’ve made a difference in the world today.

Enjoy your Christmas. If your plans turn pear shaped and aren’t working out, remember it will still be memorable in a good way if you get to share some laughs and love.

Live in the moment
Give as you would receive

Talk to you in the New Year!

Kitegirl Coach Annabelle Drumm
Feet on the Ground for Creative High Flyers
Phone +61 2 8205 7639

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