There’s a good chance that those of you who are beginning to panic about Christmas (if it’s an event that you celebrate) know exactly how many days there are between now and December 25th. ‘Yes, and so much to do’, goes out the cry. Presents to buy. Cards to write. People to see. Meals to cook. The associated concerns of money, maybe, and ‘not enough hours in the day/days in the week’ syndrome. Perhaps also the feeling that you organise it all on your own … essentially without appreciation and definitely with a whole load of expectation. Hardly sounds like a bundle of joy and festivity, does it? And yet it’s such a familiar scenario. So is there a way of avoiding even a small amount of Christmas Anxiety?
- Shorten that ‘to do’ list: in other words, dump, delegate and simplify. Ask yourself, how much preparation and planning is led by guilt? This isn’t necessarily an easy question to address, but trying to weed out unnecessary obligations will help you lessen the load.
- Spend time doing what matters most to you (and yours): in other words, know that you are perfectly at liberty to ignore the Commercial Message, Christmas Idealism and Perceptions of the Perfect Christmas. These are, largely, impossible constructs. So be authentic. Work with the elements that are important to you, and try to be brave enough to gently disconnect from the rest.
- Be there; be present: in other words, whatever it is you’re doing, take in the ‘here and now’ aspect of it all. Allow yourself – without guilt, without expectation, without judgement – to engage in the moment. Who knows, it might be a habit you can carry through every day – and that, most certainly, is a very good thing.
Text © wellbeing practitioner, 2012