When we get stressed (whatever it’s about) it can raise the stressful feelings in our bodies and fog up our minds. So then we are more tired, everything is harder work and the fog means we can’t think straight, so everything is harder again! Vicious circle. I know it’s easier said than done but really try not to stress about things as it has that snowball effect of just making everything bigger and more stressful.
What is Your Idea of the Perfect Christmas?
You know the world seems to have high expectations of us at this time of year and it doesn’t always fit with everyone’s reality of what goes in their life. We also put high expectations on ourselves too for a perfect Christmas! With so much to do I hear a lot about how stress levels rise and pressure mounts. When this happens, our ability to be able to cope with the busyness and extra things just goes out of the window.
Are you worried about how much you’ve got to do? Maybe you just want everything to be perfect? Is there something about who to invite, when, where, who will get on with who?
There’s lots of Christmas songs being played too at the moment, and whilst it’s sometimes good to hear them, they can also bring their own amount of subconscious messages for that perfect Christmas and it its to our own pressure!
There’s an expectation in many songs that we should all be happy and joyful – all the time – and that everything is going to be fantastic. How’s that for piling on the pressure! So here’s some tips to help you feel that you can cope or even just think about things differently.
Are you aiming for that ideal image you have of a perfect Christmas? I wonder what that looks like for you and more importantly where did you get this idea of a “perfect” Christmas from? Sometimes it is from an idealised view of fairytale, or from TV or film. Often it’s got a bit misconstrued along the way, since we tend to remember the really good stuff that happens! Just check in with that expectation that you have. Are you putting extra pressure on yourself? Check if what you want is what everyone else wants too! Think of the song Fairytale of New York – it wasn’t all that was dreamed about.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Sharing out tasks rather than trying to do everything yourself is a great way to create involvement. When we get together, we have someone bring starters, someone else bring pudding, another brings wine or cheese. You can share out the courses so that main course is cooked by you – instead of you trying to manage everything! It often helps others to feel more involved too. Yes, you’ll need to make a little shift in your thinking to allow others to chip in, but you might surprise yourself and enjoy things more.
We Three Kings of Orient Are
Not many people are able to provide gifts fit for a king – as much as we’d like to! Rather than add extra pressure, appreciate what you have – appreciate the gifts you can afford. Appreciate the time you have and the people you get to spend time with rather than wishing them away and dreaming longingly of something that’s out of your reach.
Think too about whether you are running round sorting out and perhaps delivering presents to everyone. Is that putting pressure on your and your time. Sometimes we just need to ask others to do something that would be helpful to them and you. Really, it doesn’t always occur to them, and those people (unlike the Three Kings) don’t just magically get a message from afar that presents need to be delivered!
Ding Dong Merrily on High
If you’ve got little ones (or even big ones) and you’re fitting in visits to family and friends then plan what’s going to happen and avoid any ‘ding dong’ later! I know it’s easy (and lovely) to go and socialise and catch up with others. It’s not always great for the children though. Take activities – or phones and tablets – to keep them occupied. Plan your times and make sure you’ve arranged a time to leave. Seriously. I’m not rushing you away but if you quit whilst things are ok, when the visit has been good and a success, you’ll remember it fondly, rather than remembering someone being ill, drunk, not getting a taxi or the kids spoiling things and ending in a ding dong!
Bring Us a Figgy Pudding
Well, the idea of stuffing ourselves with foods and puddings might be just fine, the reality is that if we actually do that even just for a few days, never mind the whole two weeks (or more) then we certainly don’t end up feeling merry! Too much indulgence leaves us feeling bloated, having sugar rushes and crashes, brings up guilt and other negative feelings. It also affects our stress, anxiety and sleep. Try and keep some of your usual habits and routines – it is worth it in the long run.
Have Yourself a Merry Christmas
Yes do! You are entitled to a Merry Christmas yourself too you know! Make sure you take some time for yourself. Give yourself permission to enjoy it AND also to have some time to yourself. Whether you do something really indulgent, go for a walk or just frequently take a few minutes (even if that’s just in the loo), you will feel so much better and more refreshed and able to cope if you do include your needs too!
So, try one or two of these or all of them. When the songs are playing, use them to remind you of these tips and change those internal messages to ones that are helpful and enjoyable to you too!
I’d love to know what you think about these ideas or let me know how you get on in the comments below.