* I'm on a diet...should I eat that?
* Whose family do I spend time with, mine or my significant other?
* I have so much work to do, how in the world can I fit everything else in?
* I want my direct reports to have a break, but I really need them here!
* I can't take a day off, let alone a whole weekend!
* How in the world am I going to deal with the in-laws?
* What if my Thanksgiving dinner doesn't live up to my guest’s expectations?
Here are a few tips to help you in creating a plan to work through the holiday guilt that may creep up in the “most wonderful time of the year”…
Take 10 minutes each day to make a plan and goal
This can be as easy as taking 5 minutes in the morning to plan and goal set for the day, and 5 minutes each evening to review and plan for the next day. Your plan could be as simple as this: Must Do/Nice to Do; Who Can Help Me/What Do I Need to do Myself. This plan and the accompanying goals will easily help you focus and prioritize what is most important to accomplish each day. Heck, if you need to, take 5 of these 10 minutes to just breathe, think, and have a moment to yourself.
Know your limits
Don’t try to squeeze too much in. Easier said than done, right? Know what you are capable of offering not only to others, but also for yourself. If your plan consists of nothing but To-Do’s for others, you’ve already done yourself a disservice. Think about your limits, and graciously communicate them to those around you.
Recognize what you appreciate in others
Rather than thinking about what you don’t like about the in-laws or how disappointed others might be in your cooking, use Thanksgiving to appreciate moments of greatness. This could be acknowledging your mother-in-law for being able to say ‘no’ to dessert, thanking your son/daughter/significant other for setting the table or telling your direct reports to take off early to be home with their families on Wednesday. By recognizing those small moments, think of how wonderful your dinner-time “what I’m thankful for” speech will be!
What are some goals you can set for yourself over the next few days? What can you do to make sure you’re held accountable to them? Take action now to keep yourself as stress-free as possible!