5 weeks to go until Christmas
I appreciate that you may not want to know that!
It will, undoubtedly, bring up some emotion – panic, dread, excitement, joy. Whatever you feel is ok.
It may bring into your mind the idea of a deadline. Things that need to be done, ought to be done and you want to have done before that date comes around.
It’s a kind of ending. Or is it?
Think about this for a moment. What would you like to change before we get to 2021? Fed up of being fed up? Tired of feeling lazing and out of sync? Weighed down with extra weight from the lock down period? Bogged down with lack of creativity and lacking in motivation?
When we begin to shift our perspective from endings to beginnings – quite simply, the more possibilities we can perceive.
4 weeks until Christmas
How’s it going? Noticed any shift in your perspective? No?
Well, that’s quite normal because making a change requires some effort and perseverance. It’s all to do with firing synapses and creating neural pathways but you don’t really need to know about that, all you need to know is that small changes in behaviour and thinking, repeated regularly will reap rewards and then the changed behaviour becomes very natural, like autopilot and we almost don’t need to think about it at all. So, what is it that you will do this week to make the next few weeks easier? Create a list or schedule? Ask for help? Delegate tasks? This can be problematic especially if guilt is a familiar emotion. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of asking for help because it would only mean burdening someone else who is also very busy/stressed/under pressure.
So, we don’t ask.
But think of it this way – another shift in perspective – what if you did ask for help and the person that helped you really enjoyed doing that? Sounds weird doesn’t it but just remember a time when you really helped someone out – remember how that felt for you – good, right? I’ll leave that thought with you.
3 weeks until Christmas
How are you doing? I have spoken to many people over the last few weeks who are beginning to feel the pressure building. Who to see over the holiday time? What to buy and how/where to buy it. What will life be like after Christmas?
All obvious concerns. All worries and stress. But ask yourself this – is this year really so much different to the Christmas’s of the past? When you really think about it would a few tweaks be in order instead of a major overhaul?
Let’s face it, a few tweaks sound so much more doable than reinventing the whole thing doesn’t it?
And remember, you can only do what you can do, cut yourself some slack. Make sure you eat, and sleep properly as this will help you cope better with any last-minute issues. Look after yourself. This is the best gift of all, and I advise lots of people in how to achieve more balance in life, deal with stress more effectively and access more enjoyment.
2 weeks to go!
How are you doing? With all the levels of uncertainty and added pressure of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are feeling a tad overwhelmed, maybe lacking in energy and just generally ready for a break but feeling guilty about that because there is such a lot left to do.
Perspective is everything in this situation. Consider where you were 2 weeks ago. Consider where you will be in 2 weeks’ time. Lists can be a helpful starting point if things are getting a bit on top of you. How about setting 10 minutes aside today to make a note of what you still have to do. Think about delegation, think about lowering expectations and focusing on what’s really important. Is it really worth stressing yourself out for? Take time to be kind to yourself in the run up to Christmas and remind yourself that it will be just right, no matter what happens!
1 week until Christmas Day
Now, you may be one of those people who has finished the gift shopping, wrapped it all up, trimmed up your house and delivered all your cards. The food shopping is scheduled, and you can just sit back and relax with your pre-booked facial, manicure and hair appointments. I may sound sarcastic but I don’t mean to be, in fact I am in awe of that person because it’s what I strive to be however, if you are not at that stage do you think to yourself ‘why not?’ And when you ask yourself that question, I wonder what comes back to you in your head? Now there is still time, remember 4 weeks ago when I wrote “It’s 5 weeks until Christmas……” the premise being that you have time to do what you need to do and what you want to do – just need a little discipline. People often say to me that they lack this, well, that as may be but the thing with discipline is that you only need for the time it takes to get something done and then it becomes surplus to requirement. Now, doesn’t that sound way more doable than thinking you need oodles of discipline?! So, write that list, check it twice and go to it. You know you can.
And it’s nearly time! Merry Christmas!
I truly hope that this is a time for you and your family and friends to enjoy because the truth is that Christmas can be a magical time – it can also be one of the most stressful events of the year for so many reasons. Here are a few simple tips to reduce the stress and increase the joy and peace department:
1. Enjoy a glass or two of your favourite tipples but know your limits. Alcohol is a depressant and can bring down your mood.
2. Enjoy the rich and delicious food and add balance with some healthy stuff like a smoothie or a salad in between. Your immune system will thank you for it!
3. Don’t forget some activity – and no board games don’t count towards exercise!
4. Connect with people – however you want or can.
5. Get involved – feeling part of some wider concept brings its own rewards.
6. Challenge yourself – with the good old New Years Resolutions on the horizon, instead of the usual drink less, eat healthy, give up smoking, etc – why not challenge yourself to learn a new skill, do something you’ve never done before or participate in a new group.
Look after yourselves and the ones you love.
Here’s to a fabulous Christmas just the way you like it and to a new year filled with hope and understanding.
From Susan Grainger