Close this search box.

5 Things to Feel Better During the Holiday Time

If you have only one pick to name the most stressful time during the whole year, what would you choose? Is December holiday time in your TOP3?

The last quarter of the year has something magical in it, and I’m not talking about the magic of the holiday time. We want to squeeze all of the things we wanted to achieve or do throughout the whole year in one month or take care of relations with family in one or two holiday nights.

Does it cost you a lot of stress? Do you feel pressured, attacked by tradition or questions you don’t really want to answer? How often do you feel that you would rather spend this time alone or with friends, preferably in some sunny, beautiful place?

Source: atlantisbeach.com.au 

What if this year we take care of ourselves better? What if this year you feel good before, during and after holiday time, without regret or guilt? Let’s go through 5 things you can do to achieve this state of mind.

1. Stay in OK-OK zone

Staying in OK-OK zone means that you think and feel that you are OK, and the others are OK too.

It’s really hard for some of us to stay in OK-OK zone around holiday time. We feel pressured, stressed about the whole thing, we spend this time with family that we sometimes don’t even like anymore. We don’t set boundaries because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. So we sit and suffer in silence.

What about that scenario: this year I’m going to stay in OK-OK zone. I’m OK with my life and what I do with it, and I believe that other people are OK too – even if they are ask inappropriate questions or behave not ideally. I believe that there is always good intention there, i.e. they want to know more about my life, but they don’t really know how to ask properly about it. You don’t need to answer to all the questions people ask, but you can react differently – not to go offensive, just set a clear boundary. Don’t get drawn into the discussion you don’t want to be a part of. Don’t waste your energy and time to convince somebody to something. Influence what is in your scope of control, let go everything else.

The more you are in OK-OK position, the less frustrated, stressed and tired you’ll be. OK-OK gives you freedom of not being tight to other peoples’ emotions, needs, frustrations, fears. Isn’t it worth to change the mindset?

2. Don’t accept invites to the psychological games

Psychological game regarding Eric Berne is a form of communication that follows a specific scenario and leads to the predictable ending. Holiday psychological games are repetitive, we can easily name each of them and actually see the signals that they’re coming.

A great example is a holiday dinner. Young couples get questions about when they’ll get married. Young married couples get questions about when they’ll have kids and single people get questions about when they’ll find somebody. Each of those questions can lead to a psychological game, it’s an invitation we can accept or decline. When we accept it, we take one of the three roles in the drama triangle: victim, prosecutor or rescuer and the game begins. It drains our energy, makes us feel bad about ourselves and we get into conflicts with others.

When we don’t accept it, we protect ourselves and save energy that we can spend on something that really matters.

3. Do more things earlier to avoid procrastination

Sometimes we do this to ourselves: we procrastinate buying presents and ingredients for dishes, cooking, cleaning or decorating the house, calling others/sending the holiday wishes or all of the other things each of us do before and/or during holiday time. It comes with a high level of stress, a feeling that we are not good or organized enough, sometimes connected with guilt. And with all of that, we just feel tired and don’t have energy to be a center of entertainment. When we lack energy, we often get comments like: “why you are so sad? It’s Christmas – smile and be happy!”. Do you know that feeling? Do you just want to lock yourself in a quiet room and spend some time alone then? Is it really how we want to invest our time?

To avoid that feeling, make a plan to execute milestones earlier, not all at once. Create a spreadsheet or a table on a piece of paper with the things you want to do, the effect you want to achieve and the date you want to do it. No excuses. Be reasonable – once you have a list, check if there are any things you can use support with? Maybe you can “delegate” some of those items to your partner, kids or friends? Reflect on what yourself and others are really good at and maybe as a side effect of the whole thing you’ll create a creative space for them to spend time?

4. Protect your time

This one is strictly connected with the previous one, but it goes a bit further. Usually around holiday time we schedule some time off at work, to recharge after the hard year, to come back after New Year’s with a fresh set of energy.

And what a lot of us do during this time?

Cleaning the house.

Cleaning windows.

Taking care of others’ free time (i.e. organizing time for kids).

Cooking for guests.

Catching up on some work, since there is almost no one there, so we can finally focus on what requires a deep work time with no distractions.

The list is endless. What we often really miss is time for ourselves. Only for ourselves – when we can read, drink tea or coffee under the warm blanket, rest, take care of our minds and bodies. Sometimes it’s time for a reflection on last year’s events and making plans for the new one. Sometimes it’s more about our development: professional, mental, spiritual, physical. You name it, it’s your time.

Protect it, no matter what happens. You can schedule it with your siblings if it’s easier for you. Hang a piece of paper on the door saying “I’m resting, please do not enter unless it’s death” or something like that. It’s about setting a healthy boundary, to do what is important FOR YOU, to take care of YOUR NEEDS, even if it’s just a 15-minutes quiet time in a closed room. Pretty often it’s all we need to get back to the balance we all need in this world of endless stimulants and constant rush.

5. Be mindful about your balance

And this one is strictly connected to the previous one, as you can see, the whole story is about connecting the dots. When you feel or think that you need a break, you take a break. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You can check out this article about The Drivers, it can be especially useful this time of the year.

You don’t want to do something because you are exhausted? Reschedule, delegate or let it go. Is it really necessary to bake the fourth pie? Or prepare 12 dishes for the Christmas dinner? Who cares how many is it, 4 dishes can do the work as well. The less you prepare, the less you’ll throw away later. That way you’ll avoid overeating over the holiday time and making unrealistic plans about the perfect body you always plan to have, starting January 1 (of course).

Take care about yourself, find proper balance between family, home, friends, travelling – all of those things you WANT to do over holiday time, not those YOU SHOULD do, because somebody said so.

This is your life. Don’t let anybody dictate how you spend it, it’s your decision to make. Every single day.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
0 komentarzy
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Czytaj także

Transactional Analysis

Process Communication Model (PCM): Thinker

Do you have around yourself people that speak data and facts? That connects the dots all the time, since things need to make sense for them? That kind of people that are concrete, to the point and doesn’t what to waste time on meaningless discussions and rather focus on things that matter? That’s the Thinker. The second out of six personality types in Process Communication Model. We’ve started the story about PCM HERE and then we’ve described Persister, as the first stop on our journey to know them all better. Why is it important to characterize all of them? Because thanks to that you’ll know the whole spectrum of the types, so when you talk to somebody, you can make a strong hypothesis about their personality Base to tailor your communication. And because we communicate with others all the time, it’s crucial to have the maximum number of useful tools and practices so we don’t waste time on insufficient communication. At least that’s what the Thinker will say haha.   How do we recognize Thinker?   Thinker is a person who experience the world through the lens of data, facts and logic. Their perception is thoughts since they use their rational part of themselves the most frequently. They always look for logic in what is happening in their life, when they get a task, project or want to decide on something. The things around them need to have structure, and they want a lot of things to make a structure around them as well. So, things have their own place, they plan their time: privately and professionally. How to recognize a Thinker in the Base of personality? Again, the easiest way to make a strong hypothesis is to look for the key words that the person uses the most. For Thinker it will be: “I think…”, “The data says…”, “The logic says…”, “The logical choice will be…”, “The most accurate solution in this case is…”, “The chart shows that…”, “The data in the report give us…”. They say all of that because for them what’s rational and backed up with data, is valuable. If something has some gaps, there is not enough information, numbers or facts, the Thinker won’t do it. They will look for more evidence, gather more knowledge, examples or cases and then, when they have it all, they are comfortable with making a former decision. The recognition of Thinker is also easier when we look on their non-verbal communication: most of the time their face is “flat”, there’s not a lot of mimics on it. Their voice is rather monotonous, stable, as well as their body. They don’t overspend the energy on moving their bodies or use unnecessary gestures. If you see and hear it, that’s a strong indicator that there’s a Thinker in the Base on the other side of the communication process. How to use it to get along with that kind of person?   What does Thinker need in communication?   The Thinker needs communication process where they have a chance to express their thoughts. Extremely important for them as well is to have a space, where they can think, connect the dots, create logical solutions to the problems that occur. To be efficient in communication with Thinker, we need to use requestive channel of communication (as we did with the Persister). The difference is that we ask Persister “what do you believe…” and we ask Thinker “what do you think…”. That means that we need to ask questions about their thoughts on a certain subject. Using the same example that we got in the Persister’s case: when we want to delegate a task, so a chosen employee covers it, the great approach will be telling them about it and then ask about their thoughts on it. “Okay, here is a task X… What do you think we need to do to complete it efficiently?” Asking that kind of question is something that we can do to get in contact with the Thinker. Once they are on board, we can talk about the details (scope, deadline, support, required learning etc.). They value Democratic interaction style. It means that they are good in exchanging thoughts, ideas, solutions. They want to be asked on what they think. They like discussions, brainstorming sessions, but only when they are concrete and not too long. One of the worst things that we can do while getting in contact with Thinker is to use directive communication channel, but they also don’t really like the emotive (too much energy) and comforting (they don’t need all those emotions). But especially telling them what to do without even asking is something that they hate. When they have an autocratic person on the other side of the conversation, they go into aggressive behaviors. By being in that zone there is a huge possibility that they’re going to attack other people. So democratic interaction style and requestive communication channel is a key to success in getting on the same page with that person. Thinker seek to answer the existential question: am I competent? It’s good to feed that question, especially when we see that Thinker is under some kind of stress or pressure. For them the following equation is the only truth.   I’m competent = I’m valuable as a person   Motivational needs attached to this PCM type are recognition of efficient work and time structure. It’s important to know it, since when those needs are not met, Thinker goes into distress and loses access to their skills, abilities to think clearly. Recognition of efficient work means that we are seen as people for what we deliver at work and this delivery is with an exact (or better) outcome that we agreed on. Time structure means that we need to put things in order: when we plan our day, and something comes up, we don’t take it easily (especially then the thing that came up is an additional task that we get, outside

Czytaj dalej
Transactional Analysis

Process Communication Model (PCM): Persister

Do you know at least one person that always has an opinion on a given subject? That has a strong set of values and that is the base of most of the decisions that they make? The person that is trustworthy: when they say that something is going to be done, it will, 100%? That’s Persister. First out of six personality types in Process Communication Model (PCM), the concept created by Taibi Kahleb. You can read shortly about the concept HERE, to have a basic structure around what PCM is really about. Today, I would love for us to have a description of who the Persister is, how we recognize this type is in the other person’s Base. Meaning that it is their first floor of personality structure, where they have most of the resources, competencies, and skills. The Base also stands for what is the most natural way of communication for the other person and through what kind of lenses they observe the world. So today we are going to discover who the Persister is, how to navigate when this person is in front of us and what to do to communicate effectively. How do we recognize Persister? Persister is a person who evaluates the world around them by comparing it to their values and beliefs. Their perception is opinions, and a lot of situations with Persisters relate to comparing one thing to another. How they feel, how they think and how they operate daily against the law, rules, policies, ways of working. While being around people, they’re loyal, and they value trust. They always keep promises: for a Persister it is impossible to even think about not keeping the word. If they say they do something, they are going to do it, no matter what. So, we don’t need to ask them several times a question like: “Are you going to go to do it? What is the progress of it?” because they’ll always do it (in fact, that kind of questions drive Persister crazy). How to recognize this person if that we don’t have their personality structure yet? You can listen to the words they need. For Persister it will be: “I believe…”, “in my opinion…”, “we should do something” or …shouldn’t do something”, “I trust…”, “the important thing for me is…”, “the crucial thing is…”. They say those words because they see the world through the lenses of opinions and values: that’s how Persister is the most visible. Of course, we are talking about being in OK-OK zone. It’s about having an opinion, but also always having a good intention. It’s not about pushing the opinion no matter what or aiming to hurt others. They have an opinion on every single subject and even if they don’t (i.e., they’re not interested in something), they have an opinion on it. Like: “Ok, so I’m not into politics because it really doesn’t interest me: I don’t want to waste my time on that subject”. Based on that example, we can see that there is always an opinion, even if at the first sight there’s none. What is also important that Persister doesn’t have any problem with saying those opinions out loud. And it’s not about being rude: it’s about being persistent, having a voice that matters (in professional and/or private life). Of course, HOW the opinion is communicated is important (it needs to be said from the OK-OK perspective). If it’s not – it’s another part of the story. What do Persister need in communication? I’m trustworthy = I’m valuable as a person When do we know that Persister is in distress? What does to be in distress mean? Being a distress means that we don’t have our motivational needs covered and we go into a sequence that is aligned with certain PCM type. So, if you have a Persister on the other side of the communication process and their needs are frustrated, they go into distress, you will see 3 steps of the sequence. Being in distress means that we don’t think clearly. When it happens, we don’t have access to our skillset, abilities to deal with different (especially stressful and difficult) situations, we can’t act accordingly (even if we rationally know how to do it). That’s why it’s so important firstly to come back to OK-OK, to our Base, and then – once we are there, go and deal with the situation. That kind of approach is always going to work, regardless of the PCM type. It’s worth to remember the sequence, since it is repetitive. By training ourselves in recognizing patterns we train our muscle of reacting accordingly, without going into distress ourselves. The mask invites the mask: meaning that behavior under distress will have influence on us, and even if we are in OK-OK zone, we can go into the dark side. Being aware of what’s happening gives us tools to protect ourselves and support others in getting into better place. The bottom line Persister is a great person to cooperate with. When they say that they’ll do something, we can be sure that will happen, no matter what. We don’t even need to doublecheck: for Persisters it’s impossible to not deliver the things that we agreed on, it’s in their DNA to do it. Their strong principles, values, and a high-level need to be trustworthy make them great partners in crime. Of course, while being in distress, they lose access to those resources and go into not so shiny place. It requires more awareness, being mindful what happens with us (if we are Persisters in Base), and other people (when Persister is on the other side of communication process).    So, I invite us all to observe those behaviors described in the article starting today. It can help us more than we think, regardless of the type of relation, context, or situation that we are in. It’s always worth to develop in this area. PS. As a first exercise after reading this article,

Czytaj dalej

Team Conflict: Is It Always a Bad Thing?

When we hear “conflict”, we think “trouble”. When we hear “conflict”, we think “dysfunctional team”, where communication doesn’t work, and people have personal issues. Or when we hear “conflict”, we think that leader doesn’t know how to lead his/her team successfully. Is that really true? Why are we so scared of a conflict? What is the worst thing that can happen when there is a conflict in the team? What kind of experiences we have with the conflict that make us think and behave in a certain way when one appears? Why do we avoid conflict? The real question should be: why do we avoid doing things in overall? In the area of conflicts, it’s extremely visible: we avoid it, because we burned ourselves once or twice. Based on that we make this strategy to not get involved in any kind of “risky” situation: so, we sit quiet and just focus on living through another day. Is it really the best option we can get? When a lack of conflict is dysfunctional, not the other way around? One of the biggest experts of team development and leadership, Patrick Lencioni, years ago wrote a book “5 Disfunctions of a Team”. It is a really short story (doesn’t even look like a personal/professional development book), yet it’s very powerful. And there is one part that stopped me when I first read it: Lencioni says that one of the dysfunctions of a team is a fear of conflict. What? (On the chart on the left-hand side there are definitions of all disfunctions and on the right-hand side there are solutions, that answer the questions: what is the best thing we can do here for our teams?) If we stick to our old believe that a conflict is something negative and destructive – that it ruins the trust and good atmosphere in the team, how is it possible that it’s actually the other way around? When we avoid conflict, not speaking up and be open about what do we really think, feel, or observe in the workplace, there is a huge risk of not being as effective and efficient as possible. It’s also short sided: if we are not sharing it now, it’s going to backfire in the future. So, at the end of the day, it will bring worse result than we imagine now. What’s even worse, people probably will talk behind other colleagues’ or leader’s backs, and not saying anything out loud. We can imagine that it will bring even worse outcomes, like really ruining the atmosphere, creating space for psychological games and in a consequence: lack of trust. The fear of conflict can be one of the biggest barriers that will stop people from growth, thrive and being the best versions of themselves in a workplace. What can we do to change this mindset? How can we use conflict that nourishes our team? The key thing to understand is that a certain kind conflict is something that we can use. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, it really depends on what we are dealing with. There are 2 categories of conflicts, I call them functional and dysfunctional. What can we do with the dysfunctional conflicts? First and foremost: we need to map and name correctly which conflict is the real one in the situation we are dealing with. Without that, even the most beautiful strategy is not going to work, because we are going to answer to the wrong need. We’ll get frustrated and use all our energy badly. Focus on investigating will bring the best results, since then the solutions will be to the point: it’s more than certain that it’s worth investing time in this process. The bottom line The conflict is a huge, hairy, and scary thing that we often have very strong convictions about. We avoid it, by staying low, don’t speak up to not get into any confrontation. We do it because we don’t want to get hurt, expose ourselves to bad emotions, stress or feeling that we do not belong. Perfectly natural, there is nothing to be ashamed of. When we make a mindset shift: from fixed (focused on avoiding conflict) to a growth one, where we take into consideration that the conflict can be good for us, nourishing and interesting, we can gain more than we think. With remembering about having a good intention, being in OK-OK zone and with a goal of creating something extraordinary as a consequence of a passionate discussion, we can achieve the outcome that won’t be possible to achieve on our own. It puts old, good conflict in a completely new light. I believe it’s worth trying if it fits.

Czytaj dalej
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x