Lots of us get overwhelmed this time of year. Even though Christmas is my favorite holiday, I often stress myself out.
My default for December usually looks like this:
1) get excited and load my to-do list beyond human ability,
2) frantically try to complete the to-do list while being frustrated with lack of time to enjoy Christmas, and
3) throw away the list on December 26th, feeling like a failure for not being able to do it all.
Doesn’t really sound like peace on earth, goodwill to men, does it?
This November, I got the opportunity to read an advance copy of Overwhelmed, by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. I can’t tell you how much reading one book has changed my approach to Christmas (and beyond).
My Biggest Takeaway
Instead of lists, I now write stuff down in my calendar. Doug and I actually sat together and planned our December with all of the wonderful things we wanted to do–and then all the things we had to do to make that happen.
When my calendar is filled (realistically) for the day, then I know I can’t fit any more activities. Either it gets done on another day, gets delegated, or gets rejected. What a freeing concept! How did I never figure this out before?
Overwhelmed also has chapters on rest, family boundaries, and clutter that are upending my world (in a good way). It’s not that I suddenly have more time, but I am learning to enjoy the time I do have. This mindset may take awhile to switch, but it’s going to be worth the effort.
What’s on Your Christmas Wish List?
Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have written tons of great examples from their own lives, how they learned to get out from under overwhelmed. I could have read this book in 2-3 days, because the stories were so engaging. Instead, I took a couple of weeks. I wanted some extra time to implement their suggestions into my daily routines before moving on to the next chapter.
Making those changes has been like a Christmas present I gave to myself. Not only do I feel more hopeful about taking on 2017, but I am enjoying the wonder and awe of the Advent season. I’m freed up to do what I was made to do.
If you’re like me, and want to quit the crazy, here’s where you can check it out.
By the way, if you order by December 31st, you’ll get a whole host of other goodies too, including a really great planner (with videos explaining how to use it) and five of Kathi and Cheri’s other e-books.