The Cultural Biases we place on time increase our anxiety for perfection at The Holidays. However, greater awareness of how your beliefs cause stress and anxiety, can help alleviate mounting pressures.
Beliefs about what time is worth to you, impact your relationships. Although you may think of time as ubiquitous, it’s an intensely personal experience. The more conscious you can become of how time impacts you, the more you can make choices that serve not only your wellbeing, but also those around you—chief among them the people with whom you live with and work.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to begin having a more conscious relationship with time:
What is there ALWAYS time for and what is there NEVER time for?
Whose time is ‘worth’ more than others?
Who can be kept waiting and who never waits?
What happens to you when you feel you’ve ‘lost’ time?
At work, what are the costs when "optimization" and "stream-lining" is placed above relationships?
How are you dehumanized by a system that tells you time is money?
Your answers to these questions can start to Unlearn™ some tightly held beliefs you have about time.
During The Holiday Season in particular, expectations run high: family is coming home, you want everything to look like a page out of a magazine, you dream the day will heal old wounds, be magical, or make up for lost time. To take pressure off yourself, consider alternative ways of creating time as you look for the magic in celebration.
Query traditions you brought from your childhood.
Share ideas together for new traditions and new ways to celebrate.
Create a budget and stick to it – often, a severe cause of holiday anxiety is the amount of money spent to make it ‘perfect’.
Volunteer together as a part of your celebration—time spent doing something for someone in need.
Ask family members to take on tasks– and make them group fun.
Make a gratitude jar and leave pens and paper for people to write what they’re grateful for. Share it with the group.
Take time for yourself – let everyone know when you’ll be unavailable and then, give yourself time—a bubble bath, a walk, a nap.
Most of all, allow yourself to be present to enjoy, moment by moment, the relationships time is affording you.
Happy Holidays, Christine.