What is a Stop Doing List? The last few days I’ve been bombarded with emails, articles, and newsletters, and they all talk about the same topic: avoiding holiday stress and burnout.
I can easily get overwhelmed just from reading all of it! ?It seems ?holiday stress? has become an epidemic. Simply watch a TV commercial. You will see and hear the high-speed, high-level ?busyness.? Yes, the background scenes are well ?decorated? with perfect trees, gorgeous feasts, and festive Christmas music, but just watching those commercials can wear me out.
To help you feel more joy and less holiday stress, I have created a few short videos where I share FUN and SIMPLE tips that are easy for you to apply.
In this ?Beating Holiday Stress? video, I?d like to share with you a very simple practice that can alter your holiday experience: Create a “Stop Doing List.”
Have you been to the mall recently? It is super-packed, no parking, and people are running around like crazy. Stress is in the air! Let’s stop the epidemic and get back to what’s really important.
Wait a minute?you’re thinking that’s just the opposite of what I need! I need to get organized and have a daily ?to-do? list. It’s the only way I?ll get it all done! But the idea I’m offering is that in addition to having a ?to-do? list and continuing to do things which support your intention, you also want to have a Stop Doing List of things that are not supportive of your intention.
Originally, I heard this idea from author and speaker, Danielle Laporte. ?Stopping what’s distracting, draining, or aggravating doesn’t require any heavy lifting or extra stamina ? just love and self-respect,? says Laporte. (The Fire Starter Sessions, pg. 171) There’s no better time than now to adopt this idea.
So what does it mean to have a Stop Doing List? It means stop doing things that are not supportive of your intentions. When you think about the holidays, think about your values ? what are your priorities this holiday season? Is it having a perfectly clean, ?show-stopping winter wonderland? in your house, or is it spending quality time with family members? Is it searching and finding and spending to give the perfect gift, or is it being fully present in the presence of a loved one?
For me, bringing my house to a state of perfection would only serve to stroke my ego while people compliment me. That is no longer a value for me. My intent right now is that I take care of myself so I am at peace and able to enjoy this time and be present to my family members. Take some time to prioritize your values.
After you get clear with your priorities, create a Stop Doing List that will support your intention.
Here are a few suggested holiday ?stop-doing? ideas:
- Stop over-doing. This may not be the year for hand-made cards. Will anyone really care? No. Is it necessary to bake 10 different varieties of cookies? No. Pick a few of your family favorites and forget the rest. Do you need to attend every social event you’re invited to? No. Choose only the ones you really want to attend. Everyone else is as scattered as you are, so you won’t be missed.
- Stop over-shopping. Here’s where you want to spend some careful time planning and making a list. Have ideas in mind, and a budget. When you find the items and have spent the money, STOP SHOPPING. That includes the Internet! As tempting as it may be to open the emails from Amazon, Banana Republic, and all your favorite stores advertising last-minute awesome sales, don’t even open them. Delete, delete, delete. And stay out of the stores and turn off the commercials. Remind yourself that more is not better.
- Stop over-spending. Again, have a realistic spending plan that doesn’t put you in debt and stick to it. It’s easy to put things on plastic and ?worry about it later,? but January bills come long before we’re ready for them. Avoid the pain and suffering by sticking to your budget. You’ll be so glad you did.
- Stop being a superhero. Your house does NOT have to have decorations in every corner. Just because you have boxes full of decorations does not mean you have to open them. Leave a few in the basement or attic. Simplify. You do not have to meet everyone’s needs. You, and everyone else will be much happier if you are happy, calm, rested, and at peace. Leave the cape in the closet.
- Stop making huge to-do lists. Just like not being a superhero, nobody will pat you on the back because you checked off 20 items on your to-do list but are crabby, exhausted, and spent. Be realistic. Do one or two things each day that are important to you. Be mindful of how much you can tolerate and still live with intent and purpose, saving your energy for your loved ones.
- Stop taking care of everybody else but yourself. You might think that this is the time of year to put your exercise routine on hold because you just don’t have the time. That is a mistake. It is vitally important to take care of yourself if you wish to avoid holiday burnout. Stick to your plan. Maintain your daily routines for self-care, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or running. And while you’re out shopping and running around, stop by a salon and get a manicure or pedicure. You deserve it.
When the holidays are over and you are putting away your decorations, do you want to be full of sighs and wondering ?where did it all go?? Or would you rather be smiling and sighing as you pack things away, thinking of the memories you made and the knowledge that you truly enjoyed this season? Letting go of things, creating a ?stop-doing? list, and giving yourself care and time to be fully present will make this holiday season the best one yet.
Your Action Step:
Watch the video and then choose few things that you are willing to not do. Create a short Stop Doing List and post your intention here. I will send you positive energy to help you make a small change and start Beating Holiday Stress.
Now it is your turn…
What are you willing to stop doing so you can enjoy the season more?
Let’s beat holiday stress together! Let’s approach January 1st with a sense of excitement and motivation for a brand new year.