Three Tips to Cope with Christmas
It’s silly season again and you may have begun to feel the overwhelm that builds up before Christmas. I see the trend every year as people become almost frantic as Christmas draws closer. What are those feelings really about? Why do we become so stressed before this celebration? And perhaps most importantly, what can I do to remain stressed and at peace through this time?
There are multiple reasons why Christmas can be stressful. Some of these include financial pressure, stressful family dynamics, socially imposed expectations and even loneliness. Christmas is a time when everyone seems to go back to their families and celebrate. But for anyone who does not have a family or has lost a loved one over the last few years, Christmas can be a time of grief and sorrow. It can highlight what and who we don’t have around us.
Christmas can also be a time of high family stress, especially as social consumer expectations are high and so many people are struggling. Again, Christmas can highlight what we don’t have and leave us feeling inadequate.
It can be great seeing the extended family again, and it can be stressful. Al those feelings like you are five years old again come rushing to the surface. Family patterns are powerful and they can bring up unresolved issues. Even the most aware can fall prey to good old family patterns!
So what is the answer?
Here are some tips that can help you over the Christmas period. First, keep in mind a value or goal… is Christmas about celebration or connection or gratitude? When consumer expectations and family get togethers get overwhelming, remind yourself of your goal and ask, “Is this in alignment with what Christmas really means to me?” This value is like your barometer. It can help you on stay on track rather than lead astray. Secondly, practice boundaries. Sometimes these boundaries are with ourselves and our wallets and sometimes these boundaries are with other people and relatives. But boundaries do help maintain healthy relationships. If for whatever reason, you feel stressed about spending time with others then set clear boundaries with yourself and them and stick to it. For example, “I’ll see Uncle Bob and family for two hours rather than the whole day!” Remember, we can set boundaries in ways that sound kind, with compassion, and yet have a strong core that does not waver! Finally, practicing self-awareness and mindfulness never goes astray around Christmas. Mindfulness is the art of self-awareness, which can set in good stead for not getting drawn into self-defeating arguments or empty wallets.
Here are the Three Tips Again…
Know your values behind Christmas
Set healthy boundaries
With these tips in mind, I wish you a fantastic Christmas!!!
Tell me your Christmas worries and I will respond to them in furfure blogs over the December period. I would also love to hear about how you cope with difficult times at Christmas, as your ideas could help others!