it's not the load that breaks youLighten Your Load This Holiday Season

Are you feeling what I’m feeling? Like this year is quickly coming to a close, and the hustle and bustle of yet another holiday season is already upon us?!

Whatever your personal beliefs are about this holiday season, most people agree that the overall intention is to celebrate life, connect with loved ones and possibly exchange gifts.

As uplifting as all of this sounds, most people also agree that this particular holiday season comes with a lot of unnecessary stress from so many commitments and obligations…which can get in the way of our enjoyment.

In a society where over-commitment and over-buying are the norm, it’s way too easy to find yourself stressed out and exhausted…and feeling like you have no choice.

And if you’re currently struggling with your romantic relationship and/or with family members with whom you’ll be celebrating, that adds another layer of pressure to an already tricky situation.

So what can you do to reduce the stress, and instead enjoy the actual purpose of this season?

For starters, continuously remind yourself to keep in mind the intention of the season. Celebrating life and connecting with loved ones can be a beautiful experience if you so choose.

Even with the most difficult of relatives, you can consciously focus on the light instead of the darkness. By human design, differences of opinion are normal, but we run into difficulties if we take them personally or become defensive when we feel a need to defend our point of view.

By choosing to remember that, underneath it all, we all have the same essential needs, we have the opportunity to practice compassion instead of judgment.

So when your partner or not so favorite relative shares an opinion that you don’t like, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you’re adding to the world’s collective energy of happiness by choosing harmony over conflict… and releasing the need to disagree and the stress that comes with that discord.

Another strategy to lighten your load is to commit only to the things that you really want to do. You may receive invitations to several different parties…and you have every right to say yes to the ones that sound fun, and no to the ones that don’t.

If someone judges you for saying no, that’s their choice. You do not have to take this personally or be bothered by it…and neither do they!

And when it comes to buying gifts, if you’re not genuinely happy about buying gifts for certain people, then don’t! When buying a gift out of a sense of obligation, it defeats the purpose, right?!

Or…if you want to change your extended family’s current practice of exchanging gifts, talk with them and explore other options you can agree upon.

For many years, my family members and I used to purchase gifts for everyone in the family. Not only did this take a lot of time, it spent a lot of money. We later decided to draw the name of one person, which worked much better for everybody.

And…just a few years ago, my siblings and I agreed to no longer exchange gifts, but to continue buying gifts for our parents and the children in the family. Seeing young kids open their gifts is always a treat!

If this season feels like a burden of obligations and added stress, instead of an abundance of opportunities to connect and celebrate, it may be time to change the way you look at it.

You have the ability to lighten your load of stress by choosing to focus on the love of life. That’s what this season is all about, and I hope you’re able to enjoy it to its fullest!

Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your romantic relationship!

With love and support,

Catherine Dietz
Healthy Relationship Coach

P.S.  What will you do to lighten YOUR load? Maybe you even have a different idea than the ones offered here. Feel free to share your ideas by commenting below…it may be a gift of wisdom that others can benefit from.