I’ve been feeling strangely stress free this Holiday season and I’ve been pondering why that is. I know that part of it is that I’m leaving the country and won’t be hosting any of the usual family gatherings. But what is it about those gatherings that can be so emotionally and physically draining? It’s supposed to be fun, right? So what happens?
We create an unnecessary amount of stress and anxiety by having unreasonable expectations of ourselves and our guests.
Will everyone have a good time and will they think I did a good job? Yes, we can put in some elbow grease, clean the house and cook dinner. But, we cannot control our sister’s headache and Aunt Sally’s disappointment that her gift for her husband didn’t arrive on time.
Decrease stress and disappointment by letting go of expectations of yourself and your guests.
It dawned on me after teaching a yoga class the other day that I host a kind of party every week. I used become anxious and worried, watching my students faces, trying to read their emotions. Does that woman’s blank face mean she’s bored? Does that frown mean that guy hates me for adding another warrior 3 to the sequence? What if he doesn’t come back?
It took me awhile to realize that everyone comes to class with her own emotional and physical stuff that I have no control over. All I can do is welcome my students to class and guide them through the days sequence. The rest is up to them.
So how do you quit trying anticipate everyone’s needs and feeling responsible for every experience?
- Don’t be attached to perfection. Something will always go “wrong”.
- Fully experience what you are doing right now. It will be over in a blink of an eye whether you like it or not.
- You don’t have to guess at everyone’s needs. Know that “grown ups” can and will take care of themselves.
- Remember the point is to spend time together. Not to be a professional event planner.