If you are the type of person who finds yourself worrying about how to make sure everybody gets the most out of the holidays, bending your plans to accomodate others, doing more than you really want to then justifying why it's okay "I just want everyone to be happy"...this is for you!
All of that extra thinking, planning, worrying is absolutely overwhelming.
AND EXHAUSTING. AND JOY SUCKING.
It seems so loving, however it leads to resentment, emotional and mental fatigue, and certainly a large dose of frustration.
I speak as a semi-reformed people pleaser (still a work in progress).
Here is a series of thoughts I want you to add daily, from now on, and let it work its magic: "Everyone will have the experience they are meant to have, and that's okay. I'm going to let them have it. Their experience is their own, and not my responsibility."
I promise you, this will set you free from so much extra stress and worry.
It will feel uncomfortable at first!
Just keep thinking it and add a big sigh of relief as you do.
You may find yourself judging them a bit for being the way they are, and you may still worry about them judging you in some way.
Your best thought for this is: "We all judge each other at some point, we're human. Oh well!"
I know, and yes it is that basic. You'll see!
Next, you are going to ask yourself: "How do I want to show up during the holidays?"
My guess is words like: calm, happy, loving, giving, relaxing to be with, fun to be around.
See if letting go of needing to somehow create the best experience for everyone else will help you be the person you actually want to be....and by being that person you will enhance everyone else's experience anyway! Not at the expense of your own. It's a win/win.
Give it a try and witness a lightening of your mood and energy take place. :)
Lastly, there is a thing called "cognitive load" and your brain can only handle so much of it.
We live in a fast-paced world with our brain trying to keep up on a daily basis. When we add extra "load" with thoughts of how so-and-so is going to complain if such-and-such isn't happening this year, or worrying whether you've done enough, bought enough, remembered enough etc. - it becomes obvious why we feel overwhelmed and can't focus well over the holiday season.
We simply can't hold too many thoughts in our head and then expect ourselves to sort it all out. We feel burned out, understandably.
What to do: Invest 10 minutes and write everything down. I mean a full on dump of thoughts.
All your concerns about all the people and how they are going to be. All your worries and stress.
All the things that are creating the feeling of overwhelm need to get out of your head!
This is not a "things I have to do" list, so fight the urge to write down any tasks.
Important: Before you start writing it down, you purposefully think, "I'm not doing this to make another to-do list, I am simply making room in my head. You're welcome, brain!"
Once you have off loaded your thoughts on paper, you just throw it away.
Important: After you write, repeat the following (out loud is best!): "Everyone can have their own experience, I'm okay with that. It's not up to me at all. I am in charge of me and my experience only, what a relief!"
You can see that the work here is all to do with thoughts.
It's just the way it is: how we think will dictate how we will feel.
How we feel will dictate how we will behave, and what our experience is going to be in any given situation.
Why not choose thoughts intentionally that are going to make you feel better?
You then gain a sense of control and calm and are the true leader of your own life experience.
It is awesome to want everyone to enjoy themselves, of course! However, if it is at the expense of your own enjoyment that desire has gone too far.
It is then up to you to rein it back in! Bring it back to the light energy that desire is, without the heaviness of worry, frustration, overwhelm, and/or resentment.
The holiday season is a tough place to start and also the best place to start. Go easy on yourself as you reframe your thoughts and gain some mind management. It takes practice and patience! Remember that you recognizing and wanting some shift here is amazing, and that you absolutely will get, and deserve, more peace of mind.