Eat, Drink, and Be Joyful

Is the hustle and bustle of this time of the year wearing you out? Does the franticness of the shopping, dinner parties and family gatherings leave you feeling tired, less than satisfied… maybe even sad and depressed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. The stress of this time of the year can take its toll on all of us. The pressure of buying the best gifts, cooking the perfect dinner and making sure that family all gets along leaves many of us anxious and desperately wishing for it to be over.

There is another possibility available. You can not only survive these social engagements but thrive through them with ease and fun. Here are 3 common things that trigger social stress and what you can do to beat them.


Stress Trigger #1: The Drama of Others Around You

Tool #1: Ask “Who Does This Belong To?”

How much do you allow other people’s lives to get intertwined in yours? 98% of your thoughts, feelings and emotions are not your own; you are picking them up from the people around you. Ask yourself, “Who does this belong to?” to help you determine the thoughts and feelings that are actually yours. If you feel lighter when you ask this question, the thoughts, feelings and emotions you are carrying are not yours. You are just aware. Let go of what isn’t yours, and peace and joy will increase.


Stress Trigger #2: Long Days and Busy Schedules

Tool #2: Take Time for You Every Day

The additional activities of the season, and of life and living, can really start to wear us down. Events for our kids, office parties, family get-togethers… All of this leaves us running around trying to accommodate everyone. Even though the extra hustle and bustle may leave you feeling as if you don’t have time for you, taking time for you is a must. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day. Go out in nature. Take a bubble bath. Read a good book. Dance. Whatever is fun for you and relaxes you, make time for those things. Make time for you.


Stress Trigger #3: Expectations of Others

Tool #3: Choose What Works for You

What if this season you could take a look at what would be fun for you?  And what if you actually allowed yourself to choose it? We have this crazy idea that in order to prove our love for the people in our lives, we must sacrifice ourselves. We think we must make it all about everyone else. And, we think we must live up to the expectations and projections of others. Something else is possible. Kindness and care for others starts with kindness and care for you. What if this year you included you in the festivities? What works for you? What would be fun for you? What contributes to you and your body? Get clear on these things and then CHOOSE. When you include you in the creation of your life, everyone benefits.


Regardless of what anyone around you is choosing, YOU can have fun, magic and joyfulness. Don’t take on other people’s drama. Don’t try to fix things for them either. If financial pressure has you down, let go of the idea that you have to buy expensive gifts. Get creative with your gift giving. Even with the busyness all around, make YOU a priority. Take time to be with people that make you smile. Most importantly of all, choose for you. It is very easy during the holidays (and any time of year) to work hard to please everyone and to satisfy their expectations of what you should do and how you should be. Take a moment to clarify what you desire and do that. Use these simple pragmatic tools and enjoy this season, and this year!


P.S. For the full article in Aspiring Gentleman, please visit here!