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156 Create the Holiday You Desire

by Claudine Sweeney
November 24th 2022

Do you ever get through the holidays and think to yourself you are glad it's all over? Whether it's the family drama, going through a big transition, the packed calendar, or the ongoing lists of to... 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 everybody to another episode here. Uh this is Ashley with Claudine. It's nice to be together with you, Claudine. I can't believe tomorrow is thanksgiving already already are upon us. I feel like we just have Halloween and now snap of the finger out next one in line. I feel like it's just summer summer. Yes. Like wasn't it just august like last week, I don't know where my september months interesting, right?

We all have a different experience. But talking about experiences, we wanted to really talk about the holidays a little bit more because I've had personal conversations with other women I know from my own personal experience, Claudine, your personal experience when the holidays are approaching, it can kind of bring up a certain feeling, right? And it's different for everybody. Some of us are super excited. I think most of us have a sense of excitement, but with that also comes the stress. The two DUIs the fear or anxiety maybe of getting together with family. Maybe there's been conflict. Um maybe it's just a busy time of the year and it tends to be stressful, right? Maybe there's also a big transition, Maybe you are now an empty nester and it's kind of your first holiday without your kids visiting or maybe you've recently gone through a divorce or separation and that brings on a whole new transition. Whatever the reason the holidays can bring up a lot for us, a lot of emotional feelings.

And so what we want to talk about today is what do you want your holiday experience to be like, what do you want to create? We do have the power to create our experience of the holidays to a certain degree, right? Of course there are things out of our control, but there are also a lot more things in our control that we may not be aware of. And so we want to talk about that today because holidays, some, we don't necessarily want to just, you know, ride the wave of the holiday season come out of it and be like, oh, I'm so glad that's over with. I did that for many years, right? It was stressful, tired kind of some uneasiness with family or in laws, whatever it might be, but just feeling like I'm so glad it's over. And I remember just thinking, I don't want to feel that anymore. I want to stop that I want to stop being so stressed out. I want to actually enjoy the holidays. And so that's why we want to talk about today because many of us feel this and so we want to empower you friends who are listening with us today.

We want to empower you create the holiday experience that you want this year. Yeah, that's really good. You know, and this is a time of transition for us because we are empty nesters. Now, we're very fortunate that tomorrow and thanksgiving, we have our oldest daughter and her family. So the grandkids are here, we have our youngest daughter and our youngest son. So we have three out of four of the kids and we have the grandkids, so we're very fortunate and so excited about that. But for christmas, we're not gonna have any Children. This is our first christmas ever that we're not with any of our Children. So I think I've shared this before, we might have even talked about it last week or the week before, but you know, my very first thought when the dots started connecting that I was my weren't gonna have anybody home, I was really, really sad and almost like spun in confusion like what, like now, what are we gonna do? Like what do you do christmas morning if you don't open gifts with Children? And it just was kind of a, you know, a little bit of time there where I was feeling sad and overwhelmed and confused and lost, like I don't understand.

So this is a great episode for our listeners, but also for you and I and for me especially like I want to create a holiday that I'm going to remember, I don't want it to be because my first instinct was, well, we'll just sleep through it, you know, we'll just blow right through it because in january we have so much great stuff, so I just gotta get through it, right. No one wants to get through the holiday season with a, I just gotta get through it kind of attitude, but I think I'm not the only one, I think there's a lot of us out there that are like getting it through, so that's what, Right, right, the way through it. Yeah, exactly, yeah, and I just remember, because my daughter's birthday is in december and so I'd be so excited by love planning your birthday party, I love the christmas stuff, I love all the, all the things about the holidays, right, the music, the lights, the tree, that getting together with family and friends and it's just kind of a warm, cozy kind of, you know, time of year, but at the same time it brings a lot of stress and it can bring a lot of anxiety and it can just bring even someone certainty, you know, like you said, if this is the first year not having your kids home, that's a big transition, it's, I mean you've been doing that for years and years and not to date you or anything, but a long time, but it's just like, wow now, what, like now, what do we do?

And so that's why it's so powerful to just remember that we can create it. I mean, I remember like with doing the birthday thing and christmas every year with my kids or family then it was like, you know, I'm kind of tired of having my holiday like this. Like I want to enjoy it. I don't want to be so stressed out that I don't even enjoy it that I'm actually looking forward to when it's over. I mean if you want to, that's your choice. But I knew for myself, I didn't, I wanted to ask actually enjoy the time and be more present and I think that's what happens. Our mind can be elsewhere. It can be on hurt feelings of the past, it can be on a new transition and uncertainty happening in our life. It could be just all the stress, all the to dues. I know I can tend to be overwhelmed by all the to dues and sometimes I feel like I don't think I can hold as much on my plate as other people can unless they hide it really well. Yeah, but I, I, and my brain if I get overwhelmed, it just freezes and then I can't really do anything and that's even more so, but just understanding like, you know, I don't have to keep living on this quote unquote default holiday, like a ground blog holiday right?

Year after year after year, let's change something, right? If we don't put any effort into it and we're not going to change anything and we're just gonna keep riding that wave every year. But I know for people like you and myself and other women we've talked to that, that's not exactly what we want, right? We want more out of the holiday. We want to enjoy it. We want to maybe create new traditions. We want to enjoy time with those we love, right and be present in the moment. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And like you said, actually, this can be a time of turmoil for a lot of people. There is stress. I mean if you're hosting any of the holidays sometimes is stressful to have things in our home, right? But it could be stressful if we have to travel to someone else's home. Um, it could be a time of transition. I know a few people that had losses, they've lost family members and a holiday, a first holiday without a loved one can be exceptionally difficult. And there's also people, this may be their first, um, one is a divorced mom, right? Like the or widowed mom as the case may be, and that can be very difficult if you're now a single mom trying to enjoy the holidays with your Children and it's the first one.

So it is, it's a lot of stress and a lot of overwhelming, then there's also family issues, right? Like I just did my monday minute this week was about dealing with difficult people, you know, sometimes going to, you know grandma's house but uncle bob and you're like, oh no, I hope I don't get sat next to him or I hope she doesn't corner me in the, You know, so people have different family issues. I'm really lucky. I don't have those kind of family issues, but I know a lot of people do really do. So real thing where people are very anxious about seeing certain family members over the holidays and it can be a tough tough time. So we did want to talk about this because we do believe that the holidays are meant to be celebrated, meant to be enjoyed, right? And not just got it through. Can't wait till January one. Yeah, so that's why we wanted to talk about it and so we have a few practical to share. I will start with number one.

I think one of the most important things to do is just take a few minutes and reflect on what you really want. Like what do you really want? Like picture your ideal holiday. What would it look like? What things do you value most about the holiday? I think sometimes we just go go go like you said, we're just riding that wave that wave is carrying us. We're not choosing to create the wave, we're just writing some way that somebody else created for us and it's almost like we don't have any say in it, but the truth of it is we do and so we can create it. But first we need to know what we want and what is it that we value most about the holiday? I mean which of your family and friends do you really want to spend quality time with? I mean really think it through because I think sometimes I know for us for years um we went to my ex extended families at least one holiday a year and then I got to a certain age when I was about 40 or in my early forties, I'm like you know I kind of want to start doing some of the holidays in my own home like with my own little family and Children and so that became something that I valued.

I really enjoyed time with my extended family is fun. Now it's been so many years, I'm like I miss them. I'm like oh yeah and the family of course now we're in northern California and they're all in Southern, but what did I value? What do you value most? What is it that you truly truly want your holidays look like? If you can't answer that then it can't, it's not gonna happen. Like you have to know what you want, you have to know what your value before you can create it right before you can make it happen. So that's number one a second important practical is what traditions are really important to you. Like maybe you've been doing things for years and aren't super important to you anymore and you're still doing them just because well we've always done it but maybe it's creating a lot of stress. One of things our family does, which I'm so glad we're not doing it this year. But the last few years everybody's written their christmas list, like their list, wish write their wish list and then they give it to me. So I'm the keeper of the list and then everyone buys off the list. I have one of my Children who will remain nameless but sends an itemized spreadsheets with clickable links.

So christmas wish list and here's all the links. All you have to do is push the button, put it in the cart and heart except very organized. But for me it's taken all the magic away from it. It's really bothered me the last few years because I feel like it's so mechanical and I get it like there's a part of why buy things for people that they don't want. So I get that part of it, it's those specific now that everyone's did they, who got this book for her and who got that tea set for him and who you know and it just it's very mechanical now and for me it's lost the magic of it. So this year we're actually not doing that because and the reason we're not spending time with our kids this year's because we're all going to Mexico in january, so we're gonna have a week there with our Children and grandchildren. So that's why we're actually not going anywhere. None of them are coming to see us because you know, there's only so many vacation days when you have these things called jobs.

So well that's a good idea. That's kind of starting a new tradition. Right? Well it's, it's kind of an old tradition in that we used to go to Mexico every other christmas many, many years, it's just now that that season has gotten very busy there and so we decided to push it till january was easier for everyone to get time off work. The beaches are less crowded all of it. So um that's gonna be kind of our week together as a family, which we used to do and we all have so many fond memories. But the one tradition that I'd like to give up is the windless christmas guide. I'm like I'm over it, I'm over that. So there are other traditions that we do love, you know? Absolutely, yeah, I love traditions and really with every season you can create another one, right? I mean every season changes whether it's your kids getting older, whether they move out of the house, it's just rather than, oh no, our traditions are gone, it's let's start a new tradition, right?

It's just a little shifting. So third one, keep up with routines, this is super helpful keeping to your routines helps minimize the stress and I think just our brain does not need more overload than is already happening right with the list or the events and the schedules, the calendar, but keeping up with routine helps make our brain function a little better, right? It's a little bit easier to follow. And so part of that even is self care, making sure we're taking care of our bodies, making sure we're eating well, sleeping well. Sometimes what happens is we just get so busy. Maybe there's last minute shopping, maybe we're stressed and so we're not sleeping well. So just trying the best we can to stick to a routine, even just for our physical health, our mental health will really help eliminate a lot of the unnecessary stress. This is so, so good. Like I really need this one because it's almost like from thanksgiving to New Year's Day, I just throw it all out the window.

I'm like, I'm just gonna eat whatever I want who has time to exercise, It's the holidays. Self care don't have time. I'm shopping and cleaning and decorating. You know, it's so, so valuable. Like I really need to put this one in practice. Like you know what I can still exercise and you know what I can eat on thanksgiving and I can eat on christmas and I can eat at a christmas party, but I don't need to make the whole season about eating, which is technically what I do. You know, this is not a six week holiday, it's just a couple of holidays that I'm gonna take six weeks of it. And the good thing with doing that, like you said, it helps us stress, but we're going to just feel better overall and when the holidays are over, we're not looking at ourselves on January one. Oh my gosh, what did I do? Maybe that won't even need to be on your list. You know, this is, this is just a side note. Here's a freebie. I just ordered a books, I haven't read it yet because I haven't gotten it yet, but it's called the morning Miracle.

I got to the morning miracle on the five a.m. Habit or something and they're both about creating morning routines. So I'm actually going to try to put this in practice as soon as I get the books and read them. So before christmas, like already it's thanksgiving tomorrow, so it won't be before tomorrow, but some time between now and christmas, I want to develop and start living a great morning routine now regardless of if it's the holiday season I don't want 1st this is a really good one. Oh yeah, and it's so valuable once you do that a little while, then you feel like, wow, I actually feel good. I feel refreshed. My brain is fresh. I can focus and it helps you show up much better for all your to do right in your calendar. Yeah, that's super helpful. Um even one side note set reminders I know for myself with having young kids and kids at home over the holiday break, I might have so much on my mind, I can get overwhelmed and forgetful, but setting rem reminders is helpful. Even set a reminder to go on a walk, set a reminder to maybe pray with a friend, set a reminder to take that nap or eat.

I know we were talking earlier before this podcast about eating enough. I know for myself when I get stressed out, I have a lot to do. I don't eat, I just, I'm so wrapped up with what's on my brain and all the things I have to do that I forget to eat and then you know, that's not good either. So I have to set a reminder every two hours, just eat something, eat something and that's helpful. That's helping me stick to a routine as well. So last practical we want to talk about today is just think about how do you want to feel after the holidays? This was a big motivator for me because as I said, we have a birthday the week before christmas um and then sometimes every other year we travel to visit my family for christmas and so I shipped all my gifts down to my family's, it just adds more stress. But like I said, when I hit that point and I decided I want to stop feeling this way. I want to enjoy the holidays. I want to enjoy my child's birthday. I want to enjoy this time of year, not be so stressed out.

So it really started with asking myself, how do I want to feel because and you do this months in advance, right, you don't do this in the midst of it when you're already burning out, you do it into it. Be proactive, How do I want this holiday season to go? How do I want to feel after? You know, like on december 26th or on january 2nd, how do I want to feel? Do I want to look back and say, Hey, I actually enjoyed that. That was a great holiday or am I gonna look back again year after year Groundhog holiday and think, oh my gosh, that was so stressful. But put a stop to it. I just, I realized I could put a stop to that. So, and just knowing like I said ahead of time, how do I want to feel that will help you develop a plan right to stick to a routine or maybe not overcrowd your calendar or if you know you're gonna see some family that maybe there's some drama or conflict with prepare yourself, right, I mean be proactive when you're going into it and not just ride the wave and then by the end of it like, oh my gosh, I'm glad that's over.

That's what we're trying to avoid. You know, there's times that's gonna happen, but to the best of our ability, that is something that we can control in order to be able to enjoy the holidays. That's so good. I like that. It's almost like starting with the end in mind. How do I look feel, think, act on January one and you're right, Like I don't wanna think on january 1st. Okay, well I gotta take care of that £10. I just put on or I got to sleep for a week to make up for all the fatigue and stress and overwhelm or all the other things that we can feel and think, you know, start with the end in mind like what do I want to feel like, how do I want to start 2023 and work backwards? Okay, well if I want to feel this and think this and behave in this way, what steps do I need to take between now and then and put them back? That's so good, so good. And yeah, I mean the holidays are so much more than the decor and the food and the gifts because that's weak. I love decorating.

I've always loved decorating this year. I can honestly say I'm not that into it because my kids, they are not here like for the months, I mean we put a few things for thanksgiving, we made it a little fall ish. But for christmas I told my husband, I'm like, well we don't really need to get a tree because no one's gonna be here. He's like, no, we need to get a tree for us. And I was like, you can tell who's scrooge, I'm like, do we really need a tree? I'm like, can we get a little tree and put it on a table? He's like, we're gonna get a normal tree. I'm like okay, but you know, for me either, what's the point? Like, okay, but no one's gonna see it, like we're not having a christmas party at our house this year, We don't have our kids or grandkids, so, but it's so much more than that, you know, for him it's important. So we're gonna do it apparently, that is a tradition that my husband cannot without the christmas tree and all that, you know? And so I'm, I know well actually we're going to get it friday with the grandkids and then we'll be able, they'll help us decorate because they're here till sunday.

So, so yes, so that's the tradition, we're gonna keep it, we're gonna have to start some new ones as well, but just to be able to remember that we are in control, we can create a holiday that we desire. It does doesn't happen to us, life does not happen to us, it happens for us And so do the holidays. And as long as we remember what it's all about, like tomorrow is a great opportunity to give thanks for all that. We have we all have so much, we have breath in our lungs. We have we have something to be grateful for and christmas to remember what that's really about, right? We think it's about all the gifts and the decoration and the tree Ashley, but you know, we have to stop and remember what it's really really about in. Um Well with that we wish you a very, very happy thanksgiving tomorrow and we will be here next week. 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

156 Create the Holiday You Desire
156 Create the Holiday You Desire
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