Surviving the holidays: make an ‘undo’ list

  • Do you really need to make twelve different kinds of cookies? 

  • Do you have to respond “yes” to every holiday party?

  • Is elf on the shelf keeping you from enjoying other things this month?

Only you know what’s non-negotiable for your holiday season. By being intentional about what’s realistic and necessary, you can reduce the amount of stress you experience this holiday season

Try creating an “undo” list to help make this year’s holiday less chaotic.

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    What’s an “Undo” List? 

    An “undo” list helps you examine what you feel that you have to do and then determine what you actually want to do.

    This helps you to see that you actually do have other choices by making some adjustment, reducing your expectations, or even asking for help.

    Realizing that you can make other choices is a game-changer. Here’s how to use an undo list:

    • Make a list of everything you feel that you need to do. This can be tasks like shopping, wrapping presents, social obligations, family events, cooking, decorating, entertaining, travel, etc.

    • Go down the list and check-off the things that bring you joy. These are the things you would like to do, the ones you are looking forward to in December. These are the ones you want to keep!

    • What’s left? Look at the items that you didn’t check off. These are tasks you might find a chore or maybe you’re even dreading. Now, ask yourself:

            • “Can I eliminate it?” Politely decline your work holiday party. Someone you’re not that close with anymore still on your gift-shopping list? Cross his name off. Just because you may have always done something, doesn’t mean you need to continue doing it.

            • “Can I modify it?” Buy a pie instead of making it from scratch. Skip out on gifts this year and do an “experience” gift like going to a movie or a waterpark. Stay local instead of traveling. Post a family picture on social media instead of mailing cards. Get creative and think of new ways to do the things you usually do.

            • “Can I delegate it?” Perhaps someone else can host the dinner, or do some of the shopping. Letting go of some of your responsibilities will help you lose some of the stress — and possible resentment — giving someone else the opportunity to contribute. Don’t even think about feeling guilty either!

            • “How can I accept it?” If you find yourself choosing to do something you really don’t want to do, there may be a good reason behind it. Maybe you have a relative in poor health and going to their home makes it less of a burden for them. Or attending the holiday party at work helps you get in front of the managers who could help you get ahead in your career? Come to terms with your choice. If there is a benefit there, acknowledging this will help you make this choice with less grumbles.

    Feeling stuck?

    Look at your list again, what’s holding you back from making a different choice? Are you afraid of disappointing someone? Or how you might look to others? If these worries come into play, think about the price you pay from overextending yourself. Is it worth it?

    Maybe you struggle with letting go of control, or find it difficult saying no to others. If that’s true for you, consider working with a professional to learn ways to change unhelpful thinking, learn assertiveness skills, or ways to take care of yourself.

    Call today to get started with a free 15 minute phone consultation.