1) Ask yourself what’s important? It is not necessary to use Christmas as the time to get all unfinished jobs for the year completed. True, some tasks need to be done but others can continue to wait until the pace is slower and time gently allows. It is also a good idea to delegate and to share the load. Martyrs are not born, they are self-created.
2) Take time to care for yourself. This is not selfish. It is impossible to give from an empty cup, therefore it makes sense to replenish and to nurture one’s own self and spirit. Then, you will be in a position to give generously and graciously to others.
3) Plan and organize what can be prepared in advance. That way last minute stress is avoided and it possible to see what is manageable without feeling overwhelmed. If it is not manageable without feeling overwhelmed, be prepared to say No.
4) Let bygones be bygones. Families are imperfect systems at best. Christmas is not the time to drag up all the old hurts and injuries. If there are unresolved issues, choose another time to work it out. Most people have heightened sensitivity at Christmas so try not to take things personally and accept imperfections: in yourself and others.
5) Reduce your expectations. We carry fairy tale images of what Christmas should be like and this sets us up for disappointment and frustration. Notice what upset you (the traffic, the queues, the endless wrapping, …) Then take a few deep breathes and choose to relax. Choose the power of peace and let go of what you cannot control.
6) Predict your own vulnerabilities and seek support around these areas. It may be that Christmas was never a happy time for you growing up due to alcoholism or poverty; or it may be that Christmas now cannot measure up to what it used to be like in happier times for you. It may be that Christmas means facing the loss of loved ones and it might be necessary to grieve. Be compassionate with yourself but be responsible for yourself also. Acknowledge what is difficult, talk to friends, family or a professional, or write in a journal.
7) Caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in sugar, all contribute to anxiety. Maintain an exercise regime, this supports the release of endorphins, a naturally occurring high. If you find yourself attending more parties and celebrations enjoy these, but be aware of the importance of getting enough rest in maintaining a healthy and balanced life. Sleep deprivation alters the chemistry in the brain and reduces effective functioning and responsiveness. If we are tired we are far more likely to
over-react! I hope for you and your family it’s a joyous time, blessings and happiness…
© Margie Ulbrick
If you would like some support with your relationships or creating greater happiness in your life, please contact me on 0403 814 477 for a free 10-minute consultation to discuss your needs.