Every year I’m stressed from October through Christmas Eve. Too many orders, letting people order well passed my deadline, saying yes to things I know I can’t fit into my schedule and just telling myself I won’t sleep. I got shingles twice in three years during Christmas Card season. My doctor told me I needed to reduce my stress...and I thought that’ll happen when I’m dead dude.
But during the holiday season last year I kept thinking…why do I do this? Why do I do this to myself? To my family? And this year I ask myself, why does anyone do this to themselves?
So I made a huge shift at the start of 2018 and one of those mind shifts was how can I not be overwhelmed by the holiday season? You don’t have to have a creative business or be a small business owner to ask yourself this question. We all have party invitations, invitations to things like cookie exchanges, shopping trips, invitations to relatives homes and gift shopping, decorating, etc. all on top of our regular lives. And it literally seems to have sucked all the joy out of the season for me and what I would have to guess is so many other people. But why? Why do we subscribe to this idea that we can’t politely decline an invitation if it means it will cause less stress? I’m sure the answer is different for everyone but for me I know it’s because I’m a people pleaser.
Well those days are gone...well I’m still a people pleaser but I will never rob myself or my family from the joy of the holidays again.
JUST SAY NO.
I gave up my stationery business on Jan. 1 to focus on my illustrations and my family, the two things that bring me joy, and I haven’t looked back. AND even more importantly I couldn’t be happier. December used to be when I’d really lose my mind but this year it’s a month that feels magical, exciting and fun and I hope it is for you as well! Take the time to slow down and enjoy it, say no to what you can’t fit in or what doesn’t serve you and take the time to do things that do.