As we roll quickly into the holiday season, it is abundantly clear that this will be a very different experience for most of us. This time of year almost always adds more stress to people’s lives. Couple that with the current circumstances and it is a potential recipe for disaster. Travel will be down. Gatherings with friends will be greatly limited. Many families will not be able to get together as they would like. And many of the traditions, customs, and experiences we look forward to all year will be modified or scrapped all together. Without a doubt, this is a recipe for stress and anxiety.
As I have often mentioned, The BUILD Framework® is a foundational platform intended to be applied for both personal and professional perseverance and success. There is perhaps no better time to apply its principles on a personal level to help turn much of the anxiety you might be feeling into opportunity.
Let’s look at five ways we can turn common holiday season anxiety into opportunity.
1. B – Build Relationships. For most of us, we are usually racing around during the holiday season to make sure presents are purchased, cards are mailed out, parties are attended, the house is ready to host, and on and on. With so much of these things off the table this year, it leaves us with more time to do what really matters: nurture the relationships that are important to us. So for every hour you are not spending at a holiday party, hosting friends and family, and all of the other cancelled activities, consider taking time to build some relationships:
- Reach out to an old friend you haven’t talked to in years
- Handwrite meaningful notes in your holiday cards
- Make holiday cookies and drop them off for all your neighbors
- Write some positive reviews for local businesses
2. U – Understand the Business. We all know the repercussions of what the current circumstances are having on people and businesses. You or those you care about may be directly impacted. People are working longer , harder hours. Personal relationships are being tested. And patience seems to be running thin. Take a moment to truly appreciate and understand these circumstances and then consider taking steps to demonstrate this understanding:
- Thank your local grocer
- Shop locally this holiday season
- Order online from small businesses
- If you own a small business, seek to cross promote with others
- Demonstrate patience by allowing extra time and keep a positive attitude
3. I – Implement Strategies. Even with the best intentions, we can get out over our skis from time to time and let the moment overwhelm us. Having strategies in place in anticipation of anxious moments can greatly reduce their impact or negate them altogether. Here are a few ideas of strategies to implement every day to stave off unwelcome stress:
- Have a meaningful conversation
4. L – Lead & Inspire. It is very easy to get caught up in what is not going right in our lives. It is easy to dwell on the negative. And doing so only serves to keep us down. But it also negatively impacts those around us. So, in a way, allowing yourself to wallow in negatively has no utility for you and is a bit selfish when considering its impact on others. Instead, consider the opportunity you have. When you focus on the positive, it not only lifts your spirits, but it motivates others to do the same. It is probably the best gift you can offer this holiday season. To inspire others with your positive attitude, consider the following:
- Express your gratitude
- Compliment others
- Enjoy the little things
5. D – Deliver Excellence. In life in general, and certainly during the holiday season, we often get caught up in quantity over quality. Well, with so much being different this holiday season, less truly is more. Less activities means more time with close family. Less presents means the opportunity to put real thought into people. Less anxiety means more time to enjoy the small stuff. So, with everything you do this holiday season, focus on making it great for you and the people around you. Consider the following ideas:
- Be present in every moment (let your presence be your present)
- Give the gift of your time
- Build Relationships. Understand the Business. Implement Strategies. Lead & Inspire.
For more on excellence and to learn all about The BUILD Framework®, get a free copy of my book at https://johnpeitzman.com/free.