"I can't make it. I already have a commitment. I'm booked. I'll have to take a rain check. Nope." This week I found a couple days where I was double booked and one day there were 3 things I wanted to attend all at the same time. At one point I was so anxious about the decision I wanted to bail on everything and just stay home on the couch, wrapped up in a warm blanket, staring at the Christmas tree. It is easy to say, "no" to the things that we don't want to do. It's much harder to say, "no" to what we do want to do. That was what I was facing.
Part of what makes it hard is thinking about the people we will disappoint when we don't show up. Sometimes people make us feel guilty for not attending an event or being somewhere they were hoping to see us. We think we are responsible for their reaction to us not being there and we feel the need to prove to them why we didn't show up. It's almost like we want them to validate for us that it clearly wasn't possible for us to be there and ok that we didn't show up.
We may also torture ourselves by thinking about all the things we are missing at one event while we are at another. By fixating on this fear of missing out, we take ourselves away from the people and moment that we are currently in and make it less fulfilling.
So how do we prevent this from happening? If you follow me, you know I love my planner. As a family we use a digital calendar to each put stuff out there and then we review it weekly to confirm who needs to be where and when. Proactively using a schedule in this way does minimize the conflicts, but doesn't eliminate them completely. Having the conversation together can help identify whether there are things you decide collectively you will not do or are easily movable. If it isn't movable, then I think about what I value and how it impacts my energy.
My health including physical, mental, and spiritual are essential to me in order to support the ones I love. Being there for family, friends and loved ones is also important to me. I look at the activity and ask whether it adds or subtracts energy to each of these elements. Sometimes things that add energy to loved ones, may subtract energy from me. In those cases, I reflect on what is most important in that moment. There will be times when I will choose to have my energy drained to benefit a loved one, but will make sure that I make it up to myself by an energy producing activity somewhere else.
Make a list of what you have going on in the upcoming week and indicate whether it is energy draining or energy producing. If you are finding too many energy draining activities, ask yourself if they are all necessary. What can you just say, "no" to? What can you add to balance the energy equation? I like to add quiet meditation time to help offset the noise. If you want to learn more about how 5 minutes of mindfulness can help you transcend the noise of the holiday, download my free workbook. Book time with yourself for a change and find calm amid the chaos.