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What Serves You?
It’s hard to believe that we are already in November and quickly approaching the end of 2017! The upcoming holiday season is nipping at our heels. We are also approaching the time of year for reflection and gratitude. As romantic as this sounds, and as much as we desire this time of year to be just that, we can place ourselves in positions to feel stress and anxiety. We frequently set unreasonable expectations for ourselves to meet the needs of everyone else. Often this leads to a break down of our physical and mental health and we wonder how, once again, we let ourselves get here. ( article: https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-symptoms-effects_of-stress-on-the-body#2) IT IS ALL IN YOUR CONTROL: We have all been there…every weekend is quickly overbooked. Non-stop running during the week to kids’ activities and work commitments. Laundry gets backed up. Decorations make their way from storage but sit in a box until the last minute. Family meals turn into fast meals at restaurants or picking up something along the way, and sleep, exercise, and laughter become more and more sporadic. We stress trying to make it all fit. Believe it or not, it is actually all in your control. Start now and write down what you WANT on your schedule? What makes your holidays what you and your family desire? Schedule that now! What do you need to schedule that will make you feel fulfilled? Do you need a daily walk, yoga class, time alone or with family, deadlines for holiday shopping? Schedule that now! When will you have time for just you and your family? What can give? Is there a night that all activities can be missed so that you can sit down and eat a meal/watch a movie together to reconnect? Schedule it and make it happen. When will you have time for just you? When will you spend time setting a menu so that last minute panics of dinner don’t happen? When can you exercise? When can you just sit and not do anything at all? Schedule it now, there IS time. We often get so caught up in what we think must happen, but really, how will missing that one holiday party or that one basketball practice really affect you or your family next week, one month, or one year from now? Now think about the opposite, how will that time that you all played a game together, or went driving around in your pajamas looking a holiday lights, or went to that new restaurant with your significant other, how did that impact your life today, one month or year from now? Set your limits with your schedule. Don’t let the ‘idea’ of what is expected of you stop you from doing what you know to be best for you. Set your limits and make a plan. This year it doesn’t have to feel out of your control. “I GIVE UP FREELY WHAT IS NO LONGER SERVING ME, I RELEASE TO CREATE SPACE FOR WHAT INSPIRES ME.” How does this serve me? This may be the hardest question for most of us to answer. Parenthood, significant others, bosses and coworkers require us to think about our actions and what we need to do to best affect others around us, but most of us rarely take the time to reflect on what we need to do to best serve ourselves. We discussed how to take control, and one of the most direct ways what we can find that control is looking within to determine what works best for us, what serves us. For example, does a getting out a holiday card fulfill you? Does it make you a happier person? For some the answer is yes. For some of us it is a reason to sit down and look at all of the photos on your phone that you took throughout the year, or a chance to finally get that family picture taken. We feel pride in sharing what is going on in our families, and for taking the time to give back to others that have reached out with cards as well. For some of us the answer is no. It feels like another item on the to do list. Something that we are just going to rush and try to get done and will feel resentful about all the time spent addressing envelopes, this making us angry and impatient with the important things that fill our day. The point here is that it is up to you to look at what serves you. What activities allow you the space you need within yourself to be the person that you desire day-to-day and throughout the holiday season? What do you need to best serve yourself so that you can be present and ready to give freely and without resentment to your family and friends? Taking the time through journaling and or meditation to look within to find what serves us is not selfish but can be the best gift you can give to your family. (This is a great resource to use for assistance for learning and guiding meditation. https://www.tarabrach.com/about/) FINDING YOUR OWN SPACE: The demand to meet other needs and to be physically surrounded by people can be especially high and intimidating this time of year. This isn’t just limited to parties for work and with friends, or kids activities and job expectation, but sometimes it can just be your family. Finding your own space to ‘escape’ or give distance between the demands and your needs can be the difference between exploding and feeling good about the person you are in those environments. This can be as simple as going daily your fitness classes (of course at Catalyst!), locking the bedroom door as you fold laundry and watching what YOU want on the television, or maybe even going on a date night, alone! Find your space and make sure that you have plenty of time for it each day or week. Schedule this and protect …