The drive to create the perfect holiday season seems to gather more and more steam each year. This particularly seems to affect women folk. Long gone are the traditional days of having one day off, enjoying a big feast, playing family games and exchanging simple well considered gifts.
It is difficult to escape the Christmas and school holidays frenzy of the 2000s. With a little determination and discipline to find a tiny bit of space at least for ourselves, we can, however, affect the mood and manner in which we approach Christmas – no matter how hard we believe that to be.
Having worked with women for many years, I have seen the pressures (and felt the pressures) first hand and the exhaustion that ensues, even before Christmas arrives.
This year I have put together a little, easy to follow list on staying grounded, and enjoying the festive season. Even if you follow one of these ideas on a regular basis, it will help.
Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and just be happy.
~Guillaume Apollinaire (French Poet)
We have to breathe – we may as well make the most of it! Just noticing, not trying to change our breath. Our minds will wander, just gently guide them back to breath.
It takes no time at all to count 15-20 breaths entering and leaving our bodies. This revives us, grounds us and brings more energy for the next thing. A simple approach is to do it between activities, or to set a timer for every hour or couple of hours – it works!
Do something nice for yourself – even if only a cup of tea sitting outside and listening to the birds – but really listen – don’t sit and ruminate. Listen and be present.
If you are able to take a personal moment of space, honour yourself by just reflecting on your intention for the holiday season.
And finally, ask yourself some of these questions – and be honest with the answer:
– If I don’t buy all that list of tree presents, decorations, pillow case stuffers – will anyone suffer or know any different? Can I get away with less?
– I’m feeling torn and pulled in all directions by the kids. Do I have to satisfy every single one of their needs to make myself feel like the perfect mother? Grandmother?
– Do I really need to feel as though I won’t get everything done, if I just stop for 10 minutes, breathe gently, sit for a cuppa or a cool drink, go for a swim etc.? Is life going to stop if I do?
And finally, as you start to feel more frenzied or stressed, simply ask yourself the question:
How important is it that I feel this way right now? Is it making a difference? Is this making me happy?
I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.
I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
~Charles Dickens through Ebenezer Scrooge