(Photo taken in Paris – time to get off the hamster wheel of holiday time!)
The pressure of a modern day Christmas or Holiday season can measure extremely high on an average person’s stress meter.
The pressure to have a good time, to say yes to all the events you are invited to, to buy many many presents even if you can’t afford to, and to eat loads of food even if your stomach and sense resist.
The pressure to spend time with family members or friends you deem to be toxic and dysfunctional.
The pressure to have a partner, children, friends or family to spend it with.
So how exactly can you manage all of this pressure, and not let it get to you?
My favorite word at the moment – I am learning that when I say no it really is a yes to myself.
I was talking to a friend a couple of months back about FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
It is such a blessing and a luxury to have social engagements that you fear missing out on – in fact your life would be more than fine if you missed out on all of them – because they are a blessing and a luxury.
Sometimes taking things back to basics is what is needed.
I’m talking going out once on the weekend and perhaps once during the week, rather than going out every night of the week and the weekend.
Is this really too much of a sacrifice? Not for me!
This gives me more time to relax at home. (What winter evenings are all about in my opinion.)
This then means I have the energy to wake up each morning and have a full day.
This also then means my immune system can work at it’s best.
This also gives me the energy I need to deal with the many other demands of the holiday season.
*Also, don’t be afraid to say no to a few things that you ‘have’ to do – ANOTHER family dinner for instance – get your alone time where you can.
If all else fails and you really can’t bow out of some things you would like to…
Keep that mouth shut
If you can’t find anything good to say, then yes – sometimes it is better to say nothing at all.
Holiday-time will find you surrounded by people you have to spend time with, that you may wish you didn’t have to spend time with.
Don’t engage in drama.
For that day or few days, or even just hours – keep your more ‘real’ opinions to yourself. For the sake of the stuffing (and others) try to keep things peaceful to the best of your ability.
If things really do get too much for you to handle. Gracefully/make excuses and leave, even if just to another room.
There are some who these tips will not apply to because they are actually not planning on spending the holidays with anyone, or because they are not able to put these tips realistically into practice because of dangerous or limited social environments.
When you are having time with your family and friends, and are experiencing regular and standard types of annoyances, this is something to be grateful for.
Not all of us have ‘normal’ levels of drama. For some, this time of year is one that only serves to emphasize turmoil and destruction that is present all year round.
If you know you will be getting some joy out of this holiday season, good food, time off work and (mostly) good company – this is something to be momentously grateful for.
Christmas is a time for giving thanks after all.
Feel that gratefulness in your heart or even go out and help someone less fortunate than yourself. There are lots of opportunities for volunteering over the holiday period.
Eat, Drink and be merry
Though there is some controversy about the following biblical quote, it is one of my favourites:
“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun”
Ecclesiastes 8:15 – New Living Translation
Christmas is a time for feasting and joy, true also of it’s pagan festival roots.
Let some of the pressure subside by enjoying a class of port, a mince pie (or 5) and watching Christmas soap operas (A tradition in my household).
Much love always Txx