At this time of year, you may be busy in the best of ways and stretched in the most stressful of ways. There are countless people to see, too many gifts to buy, frequent events to attend and numerous commitments to meet. Whether or not you love the hustle and bustle of this time of year, how easy are you to be and work with personally and professionally?
While you want to remain positive and enveloped in the joyful spirit of the season, you may find that the constant demands from family and friends has you feeling increasingly angry and anxious. Rather than acknowledging these feelings and taking short, frequent timeouts to relax and recharge, you may find that you start being selfish and snappish with individuals who are completely unaware of what you are going through and the resulting feelings. You may find that you are liking yourself less as the days pass and that you are becoming someone who is not easy to spend time with due to your chronic complaining and nasty negativity. If you feel that this is the case, then do two things. First, avoid responding immediately to any request that comes at you. Tell the individual that you will get back to them in two hours and really think about whether or not you can handle the request. If you can and you feel good about taking it on, then do so with an emphatic yes. Otherwise, get back to the person with a firm no and a brief explanation. Avoid making excuses or allowing the other person to make you feel bad or guilty. Second, do something every day that you enjoy by yourself and for yourself. These times of solitude will allow you to appreciate time with others even more. They will also make you increasingly easier to be with during the holiday season.
While you want to remain proactive, productive and progressive in your career and business and close off the year on a positive note, the growing list of last-minute demands from your clients/customers and colleagues may have you feeling pressured, overwhelmed and exhausted. Even though these demands may bring the gifts of visibility and credibility to your career or the gifts of growth and prosperity to your business, you may be wishing that you had more control over the speed and frequency of the waves of work that are coming at you. Does feeling pressured make you feel out of control, overwhelmed make you feel incompetent and exhausted make you feel cranky and irritable? Are you feeling an increase in fear and a decrease in focus? If this is the case and you are concerned that the increase in the quantity of work will cause a decrease in its quality because you are rushing to get everything done and make everyone happy, then you have to stop and do three things. First, organize your days and set aside 2-3 hour blocks of time with short breaks to get the work done. Before you begin, ensure that you have all of the tools and the information that you need to complete the work. Second, if you feel that you cannot get the work done on your own by the deadline, then put your pride aside and ask for help. You may be giving someone the gift of growing and learning. Third, when dealing with these clients/customers and colleagues, be pleasant and show your gratitude for being given the work. Never let them see any stress, strain or negativity. Even though it may seem difficult, have some fun and look for ways to be creative with the work that you are doing. This will make you easier to work with during the holiday season.
While you are encouraged to be merry and joyful this holiday season, you may feel more like Scrooge and less like Santa. For many people, this is a sad, lonely and difficult time of year. Your positive attitude and abundant gratitude will be remembered by all of the people in your personal and professional lives. You may make a difference in someone’s life without even knowing it. So make a commitment to be easy to be and work with this holiday season and in the new year!