Isn’t it interesting how we all have different experiences of Christmas – a lot of people find it very stressful, saying they hate this time of year. And then there are those people who love it. I met with one of those just this week who absolutely loved Christmas and gets a lot of pleasure out of decorating her home and preparing. Her face just lit up as she talked about it.
This got me reflecting about what makes the difference. What stops us from being able to really enjoy this time of year and as usual it comes down to our thinking. Often there is a lot of fear – fear of not being able to afford gifts for the family, of having a larger than usual grocery bill to cater for the big day. There may be fear of not getting the right presents for others, or not knowing who to buy for. There may be sadness at all the stuff that we can’t afford to buy, or from being alone. There may be worries over lack of income if you are self employed as everything closes down for at least 2 weeks, or you may not be looking forward to all the extra hours to be worked if you are in retail – when will there be time to attend to all your own needs in between. Strikes me as I read over this that money and relationships are the two common factors.
One of the skills I teach my clients is to become aware of what they are focusing on – often we focus on what we don’t want rather than what we do and this makes a huge difference on how we feel about life. A tip to help with choosing what to focus on at this time of year is to ask yourself a key question. A great example could be “How can I really enjoy and get pleasure from this time of year?”
Ask yourself this question or create another that fits better for what you want to focus on and let me know what you discover. And if you need some extra support at this time call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email email@example.com to explore some options.
Christmas is fast approaching and a lot of people find this time of year very stressful. As the decorations appear in the malls and the mailers start piling up in the letterbox we all feel the pressure to have a perfect and magical Christmas. There are pictures everywhere of the perfect presents, the perfect table setting, the perfect homes to host and entertain your family in and the perfect outfits to wear. The whole point of Christmas seems to get lost in the commercialism. So how can we survive and actually get some joy out of this time of year? Here are some questions and suggestions to help along the way…
1. What’s important to you about this time of year?
Is it a special time to spend with loved ones, an opportunity to be grateful and say thank you, a time for rest and renewal, an opportunity to reconnect with old friends or serve the community? Are there cultural or family traditions that are really important to you? Write down in your journal what’s really important to you, and set a clear intention to focus only on those things.
2. Create a list of all the things that you feel you need to do before Christmas and then reflect on the questions below that seem appropriate for each item.
- What are the things you want to do?
- What are the things you feel you should do at this time of year?
- If you changed that word “should” to a “could” – what difference does that make? Would you still choose to do it?
- Is this activity giving me joy or causing me stress?
- Can I delegate it to someone else or is it something I need to delete from my list altogether?
I am a great believer in learning how to simplify things and will often ask “what is the purpose of this activity or task?” and “is there an easier way to accomplish this?” Making it easier my involve asking others for help and support, or even telling others “this is what I would like you to do for Christmas”. We can sometimes feel like we have to do everything on our own because we have been unable to say NO or ask for help – however we can learn to take responsibility for our experience and deal with it accordingly rather than blaming others for upsetting us at this time.
4. Take good care of your self.
It is very easy to be running from one thing to the next until we run out of steam. It is much more productive to make sure you build in some quiet time for yourself to relax and reflect on what you have accomplished and what the next most important things are to do. A little quite time to pause and plan regularly will help everything to flow much more easily and effortlessly and this can be achieved as you take time to journal, make yourself some lunch, have a hot bath or lie down for a short rest during the day.
If you find it hard to release the pressure call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a chat about what support could be useful.