That time of year is fast approaching! You know, that time when you are trying to do more for others, juggle more for others, move out of the way of crazy drivers (who appear in their carloads each December) and, to top all of that off, remember to manage your own emotions which seem to be balancing on a shoestring!
Yes - it’s the holiday/Chrimbo period and as much as many people love to celebrate this time of year, let’s not forget that for many people, this time of the year signals their stress bucket to overload at a higher rate of knots.
There are so many unspoken expectations that happen between watching Elf to eating Mince Pies - from how we” should” be around family, to what we “should” spend on presents, to being better than last year with Elf-On-The-Shelf, to how the Christmas trees “should” be decorated.
So, before we get to that point, let’s just take a step back and manage the load before it erupts into the slowly-steeped, alcohol ladened, Christmas pud!
- What would you like this Christmas when it comes to your stress-load? When was the last time you asked yourself that in terms of what you needed, who you needed, and what you 100% did not need? Who can you communicate this with?
- If you are someone trying to keep up with the Joneses, how is this working for you? Why do you need to “keep up” at all? What is really going on when you are doing this? What are you really telling yourself? would make things easier and more manageable for you? What could change if you just did what was best for you and not in comparison to Mrs Jones?
- Who do you want to surround yourself with this Christmas? If anyone? It’s more than okay to put yourself and your needs first above all else, even if that means declining those family or friends' invitations. Set your boundaries.
Hopefully, these reflective questions have helped to “pause” you for a moment to consider YOUSELF at the top of your tree-pile this Chrimbo.
But if not, I read the following “10 Commandments to Reduce Stress” from www.medical-masterclass.com which I thought were great reminders to us all this festive season.
- Thou shalt not be perfect or even try
- Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people
- Thou shalt leave undone things that ought to be done
- Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin
- Thou shalt learn to say “NO”
- Thou shalt make time for thyself
- Thou shalt learn to switch off and do nothing regularly
- Thou shalt be boring, untidy and unattractive at times
- Thou shalt not feel guilty
- Thou shalt not be thine own enemy
Have a great Christmas and if Christmas is not for you, may it be as your heart and soul wishes, one full of self-love, self-compassion, and a stress-bucket well-managed.