For some, the holidays can be stressful. Often it is the thoughts we have as we prepare for the holiday, or any time away from our day-to-day life, that create stressful feelings.
Using the same three steps you now use to pause for clarity, you can pause while you prep.
Awe is often described as a feeling of wonder that has a touch of fear in it. When we look into the future, and we don’t absolutely know how it will turn out, it is natural to feel uncomfortable.
Capture the feeling of wonder, and expand it if you can.
What would be phenomenal? Would it be that planned gathering will be joyful for you and all? That you feel appreciated by all? That you don’t feel disappointed in yourself or someone else? That the gifts you bring are valued, even if just yourself—showing up and supporting others?
Whenever a thought comes up that causes fear, stress, or similar discomfort, interrupt that thought for now and find something delightful to look at. You could be nature, decorations, a picture, a person, anything that when you look it (or them) that negative thought you had floats on by.
Turning your attention somewhere other than yourself is a great start.
Resting with a positive vision in your mind can get you through even the roughest times. Recovery isn’t procrastination, though. If you envision your planned gathering to go well, for example, then stay with that thought and take the actions necessary to best ensure it happens. Heading into the gathering with the confidence that you did your best and the energy of wishing joy for all will help make that gathering successful. Procrastinating is the result of allowing negative thoughts, and the fear those thoughts create, take over and stall you.
One tip for effective recovery is to establish a routine at night that incorporates gratitude.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
Awe, interrupt, and recover. Learn this simple practice, and I promise that when you feel stress as you prep it will be brief. You’ll pause and pivot to a more peaceful and joyful state so quickly, over time, that no one will even notice you were stressed.
Your best next step
For “Your 1 Best Next Step,” learn to pause, whether for clarity or to reduce stress as you prep for something important but a little scary for you.