Stop “Should-ing” On Yourself
I love this time of year. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, it’s a constant sense of anticipation, hopefulness, and connection.
And it can also bring self-imposed expectation, striving, and sneaky idealistic perfection.
You might recognize some of the symptoms, yourself:
- As long as I’m hosting dinner, I should include everyone–making it 60 instead of 20.
- There are 126 on my Christmas card list–I should send cards to everyone because, after all, it’s Christmas.
- I should go to (insert family member’s name here)’s house for Christmas Eve, because I grew up doing that.
- We have so many great holiday treats–I should make all of them because, well, it’s tradition.
- I think I’ll get another gift for each of the kids, because I should give them something more substantial.
Wait a minute. These examples aren’t inherently right or wrong–they are just fabulous opportunities to pause and take a personal reading.
- Am I thrilled with who I am additionally inviting, or am I just trying to avoid family drama?
- Do I love sending a card to each person on my list, or do I feel guilty at the thought of no longer sending to some?
- Am I uplifted to take my family to my Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie’s every Christmas Eve, or do I want something else?
- Do I still enjoy my standby holiday treats, or is it time to try new recipes–or fewer?
- Do I know that I am enough and am giving out of love, or am I seeking to be enough through my gift-giving?
There is no wrong answer, there is simply awareness. For me, that makes all the difference in following my joy.
Besides, you never know if Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie is wishing for a quiet Christmas Eve, for once. She’s got her own joy to follow, too.
If the impulse comes from a joyous thought that feels good, follow it. If the impulse comes from an uncomfortable thought that felt bad, don’t follow it.
This holiday season, we need to take care of our Self. Kris Carr has a fabulous Holiday Self-Care Planner and stress-management tips that I appreciate.
Do it because it’s what you desire. Do it because it brings you pleasure. Do it because it makes you come alive. Do it because it lights you up. Do it because your intuition told you to. Do it because it ignites a spark in your heart. Do it because it lights a fire between your legs. Do it because it’s what you came here to do.
Reach for the better-feeling thought. Follow what lights you up. Recognize and let go of your “shoulds.”
I’m thinking my Christmas card list will be smaller. Or maybe I don’t send any this year. I’ll sit with that thought for a while, and see how it feels.
Now to you — what holiday “hit” are you getting at this time that could be looked at anew? In what way can you best care for yourself in this particular situation? Please share in the comments below.
And have a truly happy holiday season! 🙂
The idea of simplifying gifting rather than feeding the pressure of more, or grander each year, is speaking to my heart this season. The humble, the small, the meaningful lovemade gift is truly lighting me up and bringing me joy. Making space to create, to give and receive love, and allow all of our light to shine warmth radiant out into the world creating connection with self and each other, this is what brings me joy today. ❤️
That’s inspiring to read, Wendy! Thank you for sharing. And following our joy is always a trusted direction that supports letting go of the Shoulds.