If you have lost a loved one this past year or you have experienced a life changing event, you may very well feel overwhelmed with emotions during this holiday time. Here are some helpful suggestions for decision making when life is upside down and confusion is the norm.
First keep a list of the decisions that are needing to deal with. Then just like Ben Franklin, make a column for the pros and one for the cons. Write down under the pro section how many good reasons and emotions for making a yes decision and then on the other side write why it would be best to say no. Review what you have written and it should help you in coming to a final conclusion.
Second imagine your decision will affect only you. If it could hurt no one else’s feelings, what would you really and truly want to do?
Third understand that to choose one thing usually means you are giving up something else. What would you least mind not having.
Fourth don’t second guess yourself.
Fifth everybody makes mistakes and don’t worry if you make one. Everyone does. But it is better to make a mistake decision than to do nothing at all. At least you are moving forward. And remember almost every mistake can be rectified.
Sixth don’t let fear and panic take over. Take control of your life and trust yourself.
Seventh be kind to yourself. If you feel like crying go ahead and cry. It is normal to feel grief grab a hold of your heart when you prepare for the holidays.
Eighth do remember your memories and cherish them.
Ninth hold on to your wallet. If shopping is
overwhelming, try using catalogues or shop during off hours when stores are less crowded. You can always give IOU’S or gift certificates.
Tenth if you are invited to a party ask specifics. Who will be there, what kind of entertainment is planned etc. Understand it is perfectly normal and o.k. to let them know you may say “yes” now but when the time comes to go to the party you may not be up to it. An example of what you might say is “I hope you understand that the holidays are difficult and I am trying not to plan too much ahead of time. May I come at the last minute if I feel I can handle it that day.”
Copyright Sherry Russell 2002
Updated: December 23, 2014