5 Tips for Peaceful Holidays from Project Managers

Do you enjoy this time of the year or do it make you miserable? You can have a very upsetting holiday season that is tiring, stressful and exhausting. Or you can have a holiday season full of joy and peace. You have the choice. Your holiday experience will be defined by your thoughts and actions. While you cannot control the thoughts or actions of others, you can control your own thoughts and actions. This time of year is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow, to show compassion and respect to yourself and others. How? These are five tips that will help you get through this season without breaking your heart.
1) Do Less – You might be tempted to think, “Is she nuts?”. This is the time of year with endless to-do lists, events, and all sorts of opportunities to drive yourself insane. You don’t need to accept every invitation you receive. You don’t have to accept every invitation that comes your way. You’re going to put on a show for someone you only see once per year. Why not try to meet them at another time in the year?
Eliminate unnecessary chores from your to-do list. You can save at least one night each week so you can go home and hibernate.
You don’t need to make every cookie from scratch. You don’t have to have the perfect wreath or tree. You do need to take care of your health and your mental health.
2) Expect Less – Don’t think that you can have everything. You can’t expect your partner or friend to be the man or woman you want because you bought them the perfect gift. Don’t expect others to give you the perfect gift.
Many people have high expectations for the holiday season. The truth is that the holiday spirit won’t magically heal your relationships if you and your family don’t get along throughout the year. You have all year to work on your relationships.
You can enter the season with little to no expectations and lots of positive thoughts. This leads us to ….
Smile More – Smile at everyone that you see. They might smile back or they might not. It doesn’t matter. Smile even if you don’t feel like it. Sooner or later, your smile will spread from your mouth to your soul.
4) Breathe more – Don’t push yourself to pedal faster if you feel tired or overwhelmed. Do not reach for the sugar and caffeine. Breathe. If you take a moment to breathe, the world will not end. Relax and take a deep breath. This can be done in your car, at work, at home, on a bench in a mall, or in a restaurant. Do not worry about what thoughts you have, just inhale, then exhale. This is a good way to get rid of stress, anger, or negativity. It will amaze you how a five- to ten-minute break can help you center yourself and reenergize.
5) Give the Gift of Compassion to the Person Who Cut You Off Yesterday at the Store What if they were so upset that they just received a layoff notification and all they could think of was “Will my rent be paid by January 1st?”
You can be compassionate towards others by looking at them and feeling sympathy for them. You can listen to your mother in law complain about everyone without getting upset. Instead, you might think, “Wow, it is sad that she cannot communicate with us through complaining.” It is too bad she isn’t a happier person.
Many people find this a difficult time of the year. Some people are haunted or depressed by ghosts from holidays past. The story is not yours. You don’t have to. You can dig deep to replace anger, annoyance, and frustration with compassion. You can’t have a bad thing if you go back to what we discussed under “Smile More”.