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153 Holiday Success Plan - Managing Your Mindset & Emotions

by Claudine Sweeney
November 3rd 2022

When you think of the upcoming holidays, what do you feel? Excited? Stressed? Anxious? Peace? Listen in as we share practicals to help you navigate the holiday season with success. Feel more peace ... More

you're listening to the rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches, we now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back friends here to another episode, This is Ashley here with Claudine and we were chatting a little bit about the upcoming holiday season, I mean it is now november, we have thanksgiving approaching, we have christmas fast approaching, I mean if you walk into the stores all things are christmas now uh but it really starts making you think about the holidays right, the holidays are coming and I know for myself personally I have in the past felt nervous for the holidays stressed out.

So when I would think about the holidays coming it would cause some type of emotions, stress anxiety, oh my gosh, I need to start my christmas shopping, I need to do all the things but that happens to so many of us. And so I just wanted to start off with a question what comes up for you when you think about the holidays fast approaching, right, is it anxiety, is it excitement? Is it sadness? Is it stress? There could be so many possibilities of what come up and also there could be several at the same time, right? You could feel excited yet you can feel the impending anxiety. So especially being a mom, being a wife, being a woman, we have a lot that we take on our plate and so sometimes there's just the to do, sometimes there's maybe some family drama, whatever your experience is. We really wanted to start this episode or we wanted to have this episode because we want the holidays to be successful.

I think that's the goal for all of us, Right? We wanna actually enjoy them. Absolutely. So Claudine and I have been there personally for sure. And we know that this is a very common thing that us women feel. So we wanted to have this episode because we want to kind of create that plan, right? Going into the holidays because we want to enjoy the holidays, We want you to enjoy the holidays, everything we've learned in our own personal journeys we wanted to share with you on how to do that. So you come out of the holiday feeling good, not feeling like it's over, but feeling like, wow, I actually enjoyed that. Right? Right. Absolutely. Because we can have all these negative emotions as well as being excited, right? The holidays can be a really exciting time. I know for us our grown Children we're gonna see um let's see, we'll see most of them for thanksgiving and we'll see at this point, probably only one at christmas, so there's the excitement of seeing our kids coming home for thanksgiving and then of course there's the sadness that you know, this christmas, we're not gonna see most of them.

So that will be sad for us then it can be overwhelming, right? Managing travel. A lot of people travel during the holidays just trying to figure out how you're gonna get there. People are coming to your house and then you're gonna have added family members or friends staying with you. So there's all kinds of emotion and so you're right. Actually, if we don't have a plan, we're gonna not succeed, right? And that's one of my favorite sayings if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We all want to have successful happy, um, you know, just warm, cheerful holidays, so that's what we're doing and it's important to address this because if we don't then we're gonna not enjoy the time with family and friends, we're not gonna enjoy the season, we're gonna burn out. I mean that's one of mine, I tend to burn out or we can get cranky, like I can tell when I get really tired, I get cranky again, no one's gonna enjoy being with me if I'm cranky, so it's really important to address it and get the right mindset at the right holiday success plan here, so we can enjoy this upcoming season.

Absolutely. I mean, I think we can all agree that when we start seeing the thanksgiving things out or Halloween thanksgiving christmas stuff being out, you know, on the shelves that we start feeling that nostalgic feeling and that excitement, like, oh, I love the holidays is the time to be cozy on the couch with a blanket and watch movies and be with family. We see all the positives once we get into the holiday season because it's fast paced, we tend to get stressed out. We tend to get, oh my gosh, planning all the to dues or family challenges, all the dynamic of different personalities coming together. We get so wrapped up in all the to dues and the stress of it all that we forget to enjoy it. And this was huge for me because I know I've shared plenty of times on this podcast that I have a daughter whose birthday is the week before christmas and I had a birthday party to plan and I had christmas to plan and all those things and it would I, in the beginning I would be excited about it, I was looking forward to doing it all.

But then through it and at the end of it, like, oh my gosh, like it's so stressful that I wish I can enjoy it. Like I have made it a personal goal next year, next year, I'm going to enjoy the holidays and my daughter's birthday because I get so wrapped up in all the to dues, but that's why we want to go into it with the plan because we want you to enjoy the holidays, we want you to be intentional about creating the holiday season in what you want, right? How you vision it because of course things aren't gonna go perfectly, of course there's gonna be things that are just gonna happen or people might not get along or you might forget to buy certain christmas gifts or whatever what have you, but if we can have a plan, you are going to, there's, there's a greater chance of being successful and actually feeling like you get to enjoy the holiday season. Absolutely. And we're gonna give some real practical for that to have a holiday success plan.

That's kind of what we're calling it, right? Because we want to, whatever that means to you. Um, but we want to have all the feelings, the warm fuzzies of the season with less stress, less overwhelmed, less loneliness and sadness. That could be a time like we could potentially be completely alone on christmas morning for the first time ever in our married life. It is potentially could happen. We have one child that lives local, but I'm not sure that he's going to get up to come celebrate christmas with us. We're not really doing this gifts this year because we're all going to Mexico in january and our gift to the all our Children is, you know, the trip. So we're not really doing, let's sit around and open little gifts this christmas season. So, You know, that could be really sad for me. This will be my first year in, you know, almost 35 years of marriage and not having any Children at home, you know, and I'm not the only one, there's a lot of us empty nesters where we live away from our Children or grandchildren and we may be alone.

So we have to have a plan for that, you know, and I've already started planning, I started researching, are there any brunch places that are open on Christmas morning that we could start a new tradition for? But why don't we share some of the practical Ashley? Because I know it is thanksgiving is right upon us here. Yeah, it's november. I still can't, I know I'm excited, but oh my gosh, where did it go? Uh Yeah, well really claudine, it's all about managing our mindset, right? And so going into the holiday season, we really have to be conscious of our thinking and have intentional thinking and like we said, make an action plan. So about managing mindset, but how do we do that? Exactly. So here are some practical of the, how how can I manage my mindset? How can I have a successful holiday season number one? It starts with asking yourself, how do I want the holidays to go? What is my vision?

Uh you definitely if if you're making a plan, you have to create some sort of a vision, right? You don't want to just go into it on default. and what will happen is you're just going to do the same thing you did last year and the year before and the year before and it's going to create the same outcome. It's gonna create the same feelings. Um, and so ask yourself just create that vision if you want to do a vision board, do a vision board, but journal it, you know, however you want, just envision what do I want or how do I want this season to go and what kinds of things do I want to create? Do I want to create, like you said, a new tradition? Do I are the, they're certain traditions, I want to start with certain members of my family, maybe write this creative vision and that's a great place to start because if you don't see a vision, then like I said, you're just gonna kind of revert back and do the things you did last year because that's what, you know, and so it's all about being intentional.

Yeah. And, and that's kind of what I needed to do because when it started dawning on me that my Children weren't gonna be here, my grandchildren weren't gonna be here the first like few minutes or that what however long I felt really sad, like it was hurting my heart. And so then I had to get creative, okay, but how can I make this great, Like how can we do something different and special that will, you know, be maybe a nutrition or at least I don't want to sit around the house in the morning, sad coffee by myself, not having our normal brunch. I was like, that's not the way, right? I know, which can be my tendency. I tend to be a half empty glass kind of gal. So I was like, okay, I need to have a vision. So I pictured my husband and I going to really nice place for brunch now, I'm not quite sure if any of them are open. I found a few on christmas morning, but we're gonna do something special. Maybe we'll go on a drive maybe, I don't know, but I know that my vision of it, I have this picture in my head of he and I being happy doing something together, we're smiling, we're enjoying each other and um it's gonna be a special morning, but I had to have that vision first.

I had to hold it in my mind before it's gonna happen, right? Because if I focus on what I don't have, I'm gonna be super sad, right? And also, you know, envisioning what you want to do that new tradition, it breeds more positive feelings, more positive emotions like you said, if we're going to focus on what I'm lacking or what's not happening or who I'm not seeing, then you're gonna be filled with sadness. But if you that, hey, it's different, I'm gonna feel sad and that's okay. What is something new? I can do? Hey, maybe we can try this new thing together and then you start feeling more positive and hey, that actually sounds like a fun idea. You know, I might help you help breed more of those positive emotions, which is a great place to start. Number two managing our expectations. We have talked about expectations a lot on this podcast. We need to, we need to, we all do that.

We all have expectations that, you know, don't get met and then we're disappointed and frustrated and angry, sad and all the things. So if we manage our expectations along with our vision, create your vision and then manage, what do I expect to happen this holiday season, what do I expect? Sometimes it's even, how do I expect certain family members to behave? Is everyone going to get along? I know that would be a big issue with some families. Um, you know, oh my gosh, we're all going to be together in this same house or maybe some people have a blended family and maybe their kids are gonna be with one parent while the other parent is kind of alone christmas morning and then they switch and who knows whatever your personal situation is, understand your expectations and put into check, how realistic are they, right? Are your expectations so high that you're going to inevitably be left disappointed or do you have realistic expectations that can be achievable.

You know, I think that's a huge one for us, especially like one of mine personally is I want to get christmas gifts. Let's just stop christmas gifts here. My, that my expectation is to get the perfect christmas gift for whoever I'm buying for. Right, My nieces and nephews, let's say. So in my, on my side of the family, we alternate families. So, so I buy for one brother's kids that brother buys for the other kids and the other brother buys for my kids. So you know, cause there's a lot of the kids in the family. So to help us all financially and we want, didn't want to do cheap little gifts, right? We want to do nice gifts. And so that's why we divide it up. Um, but my personality is, I want to get the perfect gift. I'm like thoughtful. So, but then also I have this perfection issue where I'm like, I want them to love it and I want to, I care too much about what I do. I put too much pressure on it. So, but being realistic in, hey, this is something they'll like, I know they're gonna like this even, you know, it's from my heart to yours.

I love you. Yeah. And be okay with it rather than putting so much pressure on what the gift is that's also kind of managing your expectations right? I mean depending on what your expectations are, one, you have to be aware of what they are to, you have to just make sure they're realistic and not causing yourself too much angst Yeah, see you're focused on the gifts and I'm focusing on how pleasant and calm and peaceful everyone's gonna be. I remember when my kids were little, I just pictured these like hallmark christmas morning, like everyone just so warm and loving and and you know, so yes, so grateful for all their gifts and I, I just had those were my expectations of what christmas morning looked like and for many years, a lot of times it was like that, but there were times when it was not so much like that one child was cranky or they didn't get the gift they wanted or another child, there was one where one of our Children had got piercings and they were under the age of, oh I think I've shared this with you for sure, but maybe other on the podcast, but you know, it was like right after we finished all the gift, the whole morning activities, one of the other Children is like, well you need to look at this one's tongue and dada dada and so you know, we were like, it had been an act of defiance that they had done or two before.

So that was our christmas day was like having this long talk and grounding this child for their, you know, rebellious behavior but anyway, um not the hallmark christmas morning that I had pictured. So yes, managing expectations. It's accept imperfection, right? Our lives christmas morning thanksgiving dinner. Those are not movies, right? There's no cut take to take 37 take 100 and 18. It's a one shot and you get what you get and it's great to have a vision but also realize that it's not always going to be exactly like our vision. Right? Well, and also you think about, you know, accepting life as 50 50 there's gonna be, let's say 50% positive experiences, 50% negative experiences. So if we go into the holiday season, hopefully it's not 50 50 hopefully, maybe it's more like 80 20. Yeah, but going into it knowing that hey, things happen, it's not gonna be perfect and I'm just gonna roll with it, right?

And a huge one is humor, laugh about things, laugh things off if you can learn to do that and just take things a little bit more lightheartedly. It will really help you enjoy the holiday season. We laugh now about the piercing, but we weren't laughing. Okay, number three, we've kind of talked about, it's having a holiday success plan, really planning it. And um, part of this plan, right? It's intentional is to slow down, take some time. We've in your plan, Put it in there sometimes too slow, go down to rest or take a pause. I think this is so important because november december could be go, go, go, go, go and if we don't take just a few whether it's a few minutes every day or take a day out of the week or however it works best for you in your lifestyle. But really take an intentional pause, a time to slow down to take care of yourself to reflect on why you're doing what you're doing.

There's so much, but we don't cause I know I don't, I go, go, go and then like january 2nd I collapse in a heap of burnout, you know and january. Right? Absolutely. So take some time, put it in there, look at your next two months on the calendar and just take an hour here or a few minutes in the morning or however you want to work it out. But intentionally slow down and pause another part of the holiday success plan is practice gratitude. So obviously there's so much research and studies that show the power of gratitude, on our brains, on our mindset, on our mental health, our emotional health, but really just take the time to write three things down every day that you're grateful for, right? Just three things every day. It could be before you go to bed or first thing in the morning or during the day or maybe with each meal, think of one thing I'm grateful for. But if you have three things per day that you are grateful for and you bring it to your awareness and you acknowledge it, it is gonna be so helpful to having a successful, peaceful, joyful holiday.

So practice gratitude and the last little part of our holiday success plan is remember the reason for the season, right? I mean thanksgiving, it's a time to give thanks and yet we can get so caught up in the menu and the traveling and the planning. I mean I know there are times I've done all of thanksgiving for my whole family and it's a lot of work like when my kids were teens we stopped visiting like the extended family and we started doing things in our own home and then for most years I did all of it, it's a lot then I wise and up and I had my older teens when they got older teens and young adults I had them each prepared their favorite part of the meal that was a great idea, feel free to steal that when you're ready when your kids are ready. But remember the reason for the season and thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and christmas is a time to remember christ but we can get so caught up in travel and gift buying and shopping and planning and all that, we forget, we just forget why we're even doing what we're doing.

So I think with those three things we can definitely have a successful holiday and I want to add this quote, it says our mindset can either prepay tell us forward into our dream life and keep us in a state of happiness and gratitude or it can keep us in negativity and in a paralyzed state of spinning our wheels. The choice is yours. Yes, Yes. So what the holiday season feels like right, spinning our wheels? Yes, it sure can. So and I like that quote actually because it says the choice is ours and really when we understand that are managing our mindset will determine how we feel in our emotions and how we show up, right? How do we show up for our family and our friends during this holiday season? It really does come all the way back down again to our mindset and that is our choice and that's our responsibility to manage it and and in a place where you know, we feel grateful in happy or we're spinning our wheels, stressed and overwhelmed.

Really good quote. Well everyone, I hope that you've all gotten a few helpful hints today going forward into the holiday season without stress, without overwhelmed by going into it with a spirit of peace and joy and love until next time. Take care. Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know, it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

153 Holiday Success Plan - Managing Your Mindset & Emotions
153 Holiday Success Plan - Managing Your Mindset & Emotions
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