10 Ways to Make Sense of the Holidays when Things Just Don’t Go As Planned!

stressed out thanksgiving10 Ways to Make Sense of the Holidays when Things Just Don’t Go As Planned!

Good afternoon and Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Have you ever planned to have an amazing holiday experience and have it completely fall apart?  Maybe not in a huge way but just enough to throw everything off to cause you to feel like you failed?

This Thanksgiving I got suddenly ill on Wednesday, right in the middle of all the preparation, cooking, and baking, and it knocked me on my butt. Not to mention, my daughter showed up sick from college and my husband spent Thanksgiving morning in the urgent care with her. All of the good intentions I had slated for the day didn’t turn out the way we had planned. I felt absolutely awful and did my best to go through the motions.

For the business aspect of the holiday, I had a heart-warming and inspirational blog-post planned that I envisioned would touch the hearts of many and make a profound difference in their life.

I created a beautiful holiday newsletter, complete with a “Black Friday” special that I painstakingly agonized over to be just right.

I had written a thoughtful and introspective special Thanksgiving radio show script for our Annual Heart to Heart with the Hanson’s broadcast and it fell COMPLETELY flat….

We got all of the food shopping done well ahead of time and saved a ton of money using my carefully clipped coupons.

I even go to bake ahead of schedule thanks to the fact I work from home full time!

How could I get sick and half of what I had planned not happen?

How was your holiday, did everything go as planned? Did you or someone get sick as well? Were you unable to make your special holiday foods?  Do you have relatives and family you don’t like and get super stressed at the thought of having to deal with them? Do you feel that your life is out of   control because you feel compelled to participate in traditions that simply don’t resonate with you and actually make you quite miserable?

Every year it seems more and more that people are doing things that make other people happy but not themselves.

This was the first year in a very long time that when I actually took the time to pre-plan and pre-ready all the intricacies of the holiday that nothing went as planned….I felt depressed and disappointed at the whole experience. I felt like I let down my family, our clients, readers, and listeners.

As Spiritual Entrepreneurs I think we almost feel a sense of responsibility for making people’s holidays “better.” Do you know what I mean? It’s like we want to help people feel inspired, gratitude, happy, enlightened, and empowered. Because our business is spiritual-based we may feel some degree of obligation to step in and help our clients and others in the community to lighten their heaviness, shed light on the darkness, give hope to the hopeless, and help heal the broken.

As Spiritual Entrepreneurs, the very things that affect our clients and the community can still have a profound effect on us! We aren’t immune from life’s challenges and at times I do believe Spirit tests us more than others.

This Thanksgiving I started out sad and disappointing but over the last few days I’ve been able to switch my attitude to feeling gratitude and abundance. Instead of getting upset and ruining everyone else’s day, I kept a cool head and was easy to be around.

The most important factor is that everyone was alive and present and it was a beautiful day despite everything not being perfect.  To behave otherwise would insult to those who truly have troubles.

Having the last few days to sit around helped me to take a break from my work and business to look at myself and my own expectations and how hard I push myself. I push myself crazy-hard and I expect more out myself than I believe is humanly possible. I realized a few things about myself that you may feel about yourself that I’d like to share with you.

I no longer think my mission is to help anymore feel or be “better>” Everything I created for the holiday regarding the business now feels ego-ish and unnecessary. I think at times being a Spiritual Entrepreneur is demonstrating that we’re human and as humans stuff happens. It’s how we roll with it that truly matters. Not everything will work out as we planned it, and that is also an opportunity for our personal and spiritual growth

Here is a list of some of my realizations:

1. No holiday is EVER worth feeing sad and depressed over
. Special holidays in our nation and culture are designed to be celebrated and acknowledged for a purpose. They’re markers in time; designed to bring awareness and enlightenment for a particular reason. They’re based on our ability to cope and survive and find gratitude and abundance during difficult times. Holidays are meant for the living; as long as you’re alive, make them count.

2. Expect that at least one thing will not go as planned. Knowing that there is a chance of at least one thing going exactly as the way you planned will help to lessen your stress and performance anxiety. Secretly know that two things can go wrong and you’re well ahead of the game.

3. Enlist the help of others. I think some of us have this gene that makes us believe that we don’t need any help during the holidays and that we “have it handled.” Realizing that things can go wrong and knowing that someone has your back greatly relieves that anxiety and disappointment.

4. People don’t expect as much as you think they do. We tend to work ourselves into a tizzy with all the finite details and little touches we like to add. Stick to what’s important and be happy! Most people don’t notice or care about the little details; they care about seeing you and spending time together.

5. Create new traditions. Don’t worry about how things “should” be. Most family traditions were created by relatives who are long gone and during a time that doesn’t resonate with many of us now. Unless they have deep and sincere meaning to you, don’t be afraid to create new traditions that everyone can appreciate and understand.

6. Don’t be afraid to say no. This can sound simple but for some people it’s the hardest task ever! Depending upon who it is you have to say no to, it’s almost as bad as doing the task itself. Saying “no” and meaning it requires a level of maturity and self-esteem. If seeing particular people during the holidays, participating in a certain event, or if having someone stay at your home makes you that upset and uncomfortable, say no. Put your foot down and mean it. You don’t have to make excuses or find an alternative for that individual. You can politely decline and move on. The less fuss you make the less fuss there will be later. Try it today!

7. Spend time together more often. Don’t wait until once or twice a year to see your family, extended family, and friends. Time has a way of making us forget our problems and when the holidays come around our differences once again become painfully obvious. Seeing people more often helps to release false expectations and fear while simultaneously healing deep rifts. You have the opportunity to get used to eachother.

8. Be cool. Don’t be the one to start problems. Take care of your own issues now and prepare for the holiday season ahead of time. If you have a problem with someone take it up with them before a family get-together. Don’t be the bully; be open, welcome, and loving. If things don’t go well get over it, and for Heaven sake don’t keep apologizing! Be the leader in your family and set the standard for everyone else’s behavior and watch them follow suit.

9. Time is important. We don’t know how long we have here on Earth and today could be our last day. This thought has been especially difficult for me because in the past I wasted so much time drinking, working, and not being present. I always had to hurry up to be somewhere to hurry up to be someplace else.

10. Don’t be critical. Don’t pick apart or criticize another person’s efforts, thoughts, and feelings. It’s not anyone’s place or business to put upon others their personal likes and dislikes and expect everyone to concur. If you don’t like something; zip it or do it yourself. Nothing ruins a holiday gathering faster than people being afraid of that one relative or in-law criticizing their every effort. It’s not only rude, it’s completely unnecessary.

Having the past few days to think about all of these concepts truly helped to make me a much better wife, mother, and Spiritual Entrepreneur. My stuff will get out in the best possible way, in a timely manner I can manage comfortably and properly.

Depending upon where you live and the holidays you celebrate, be a LEADER. Be the one to set the stage, the tone, and the behavioral pattern of the occasion. As Spiritual Entrepreneurs the holiday season can be the opportunity for us to be spiritual stewards and supporters of our family and friends as we all move forward into the coming New Year. I hope that you found this list helpful and please feel free to add your ideas!

At Heart to Heart Institute Leif and I and our families are extraordinarily grateful for the love and support we’ve received this past year from our family and friends! We’re also extremely thankful for all of our new and established clients!Thank YOU for helping to make Heart to Heart Institute a Global business and community!

Blessings and Namaste’
Leif and Kristen Burkhardt-Hanson

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