Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interview by Get Green Baby

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jamie Ussher over at Baby Get Green recently. You can find the interview on her new blog where her logo is "striving to live a simple and peaceful life...here you'll find tips, ideas, and stories of our efforts". Stop by and check out her great ideas!

Destressing Christmas, Part 2 - Thinking Through the Needs of Your Family and Friends

If I calculate correctly, we are 89 days away from Christmas. So let's look at another way to destress Christmas: thinking about the needs of your family and friends. By using this as a filter, you can reduce some holiday stress. As I said last week, I'm updating my blogs on this subject from last year. Here are some thoughts I had:

Choose whom you want to spend time with over the holidays - friends or family who refresh, encourage, and cheer you. Take the initiative to make that happen.

Do you have friends who might be alone whom you could include in your holiday plans? Have you included a healthy amount of giving to others who might otherwise be neglected? Your heart will overflow with joy as you reach out to others!

If getting together with your relatives is too painful or unhealthy, give yourself permission not to attend. If you, your spouse, or your children might be subjected to verbal, emotional or physical abuse, don't put yourselves in this unsafe place. Even if it hurts others' feelings, you cannot condone unhealthy or painful treatment by attending.

Consider family problems when planning gatherings. Be proactive in order to minimize Uncle John's drinking problem by having a brunch rather than a dinner. If Cousin Sally's conversation is predominantly negative or a never-ending flow, plan some conversation starters or games to reduce her dominance.

If it's just too difficult for you to travel during the holidays, don't let others guilt-trip you into travelling anyway. Be honest and stick to your guns for your own benefit and that of your family. Invite your relatives to visit you (if that is better for you) or suggest another time of year for a visit when life is less hectic.

Consider the needs of your family. If you have small children who need naps and a consistent bedtime (who doesn’t qualify for that one?!!), don’t overschedule. Make sure the events you plan to attend are age appropriate for your children. Don’t have an unrealistic idea of what they can grasp and endure.

Study your family. Know what delights each one and what stresses each one, including yourself. Plan accordingly. When our girls were small, one of our daughters would respond to an overplanned schedule by vomitting - a pretty clear message! (Sorry to be graphic.) So I had to be careful not to pack our schedule too tightly.

By anticipating your needs and those of your family and friends, you can be intentional about your holidays. You’ll be able to weed out those items that don’t fit, plan around potential hazards, and create memorable experiences for those you love.

What are your family's delights and stresses?

Related Posts: Destressing Christmas, Part 1 - Think Through Your Expectations, Posts from 2007: Destressing Christmas, Part 1 - Think through your expectations, Destressing Christmas, Part 2 - Think through your family/friendship needs and commitments, Destressing Christmas, Part 3 - Think through gifts, Destressing Christmas, Part 4 - Think through cleaning/decorating/entertaining, Destressing Christmas, Part 5 - Think through your health, Destressing Christmas, Part 6 - Think through your calendar, Organizing Your Holiday Meals