It's the week before Christmas, and I know that that means there are a lot of you out there that might be suffering from some anxiety. Feeling a little bit anxious, or overwhelmed, about how you're spending the holiday, particularly this year, in these unusual times, where we don't get to do all the normal activities that we're used to.
I wanted to take just a few moments today to remind you that the thoughts you're thinking, about your current situation, are what is causing you're feelings.
If you're having feelings like anxiety, or overwhelm, or if you're feeling like you're disappointing people, because you can't be there, because of the pandemic. Or, if you're feeling like you're a bad daughter, because you're not seeing your family on Christmas, I want you to think about what you're thinking, that's causing that feeling.
See if you can reframe that thought, to make yourself feel better about your current situation. In fact, I like to think about how I want to feel, and then think about ways to make that happen for me.
As an example, lots of times at large family gatherings, someone will get on a topic that I disagree with, or feel very strongly about. Sometimes it causes me a lot of anxiety ahead of time, thinking about all the different conversations that might come up, that I might disagree with, or that I might have to listen to someone carry on about a particular topic.
Instead, I've decided, in those types of family situations, the number one thing that I want to feel is fun and laughter. I want to have joy and I want to be happy. Instead of thinking, "Oh, here he goes again, talking about that topic." I like to think of the ways that I can make a game out of what they're saying, or add some fun and laughter to the situation.
That might mean, let's see how many unusual conspiracy theories he can come up with this time and keep a tally of them, so it's something to laugh about later. Or, just deciding when the situation gets where I'm not having fun, that's an opportunity for me to get a drink of water or use the restroom. Just to be really intentional about how I want to feel, and then making sure that the thoughts I'm having are supporting the way that I want to feel.
I hope this encourages you today. I hope if you're having a feeling that you don't appreciate, you can find a new thought that will help you think differently, and therefore feel differently about your current situation.
Another example we're seeing in my family, is that we're headed out on Christmas Day, to go out of town to Mexico for a few days. My immediate family, my husband, my two kids, we're very much looking forward to this.
But, there is a little guilt that started to sneak in, that we weren't spending the holiday with our extended family. Instead of feeling bad about that guilt, I reframed it to say that if we didn't spend Christmas with them, and we spent different days, the Saturday before Christmas is an example, then we would be able to have more time and be able to spread out the holiday season, while we still enjoy the things that we had planned.
There's a lot of different ways you can think about the feelings that you're having before you go into a certain situation, and you can reframe your thoughts to change those feelings and to have a more positive experience, or at least an experience that is more connected to what you want out of life.
I hope this is helpful. I hope you have a fantastic holiday.