The Xmas Holiday period is very much the start of a holiday in these parts of the world!
Schools’ out and the weather is beautiful. Most of us take a well deserved break.
Yet, whilst the sun shines and the year draws to an end, this time of year can also bring a heap of mixed feelings.
Here’s a snapshot of the festive feelings coming from recent counselling conversations:
Do you recognise any of these in yourself?
Some of these feelings may not be any different from other times of the year.
However, they all seem to be amplified with an added weight of expectation that Xmas should be a happy time.
Here’s a timely reminder to how to take good care of ourselves this holiday season.
Tips for coping with the festive season
1. There’s no right or wrong
The way you feel and the way you acknowledge Xmas is entirely up to you.
Trust your own needs. You don’t need to justify your Xmas Day to anybody.
2. Lighten the load
Get some help from family, friends or work colleagues.
Help could be a cuppa and a chat about what you need to get you through the festive season.
If you’re struggling with big emotions, check in with a counsellor.
3. Pause a moment
It’s busy everywhere, the roads, the shops, the car parks, the trains and the cafes! Finding a quiet spot can be a challenge, however, if you can, take a break, go away somewhere with lots of space and fresh, clean air.
Or stop anyway, wherever you are, breathe deeply and take a pause from the hectic nature of your day. In your pause, acknowledge and validate your feelings whether they’re positive or negative.
Pause often. Do it now!
4. Don’t buy in
You know those difficult, tetchy, conflicted relationships with family members, ex-partners, bosses or work mates and friendships?
Maybe step back from the people who are just not good for you.
You could do this either literally by keeping away from conversations with toxic people, or metaphorically by exhaling all those negative feelings at regular intervals throughout the day, between mouthfuls of food or sips of champagne!
5. It’s not supposed to be perfect
If you look at all the advertising around this time of year or watch the numerous Xmas movies, it appears we are supposed to be eating an abundance of the best food, at an amazingly decorated, glittering table, exquisitely wrapped gifts nestled in the biggest xmas tree or on the perfect beach with masses of festive fare.
All of which require us to be smiling with whitened teeth from a fresh, stress less face!
If that does indeed float your boat, enjoy!
However, that level of perfection is unreasonable for most of us. Do your best, it’s not supposed to be perfect, and if the turkey is a little dry, make lots of gravy!
6. Don’t over-indulge!
Overindulging appears to go with the festive territory. With the many Xmas functions and the numerous Xmas meals ingested on Xmas Day lots of people get to feel sick, bloated, hung over and guilty by Boxing Day.
I say, take it slow and make it healthy enough to feel good on Boxing Day!