Not everyone is joyous at Christmas. Some people love the festivities and leap in with excitement and enthusiasm. But many others find this season much more difficult.
- If you’ve been navigating family separation or a relationship breakdown the Christmas season can be daunting.
- If you’ve experienced grief or loss throughout the year then the festive season can fill you with sadness and anxiety.
- If you’ve had a difficult year with your health, your finances, your career or your relationships suddenly this time of year can be stressful instead of festive.
The underlying problem is the stark contrast.
We are supposed to be living in a place of joy at this time of year, right? We are surrounded by images, movies, marketing and social media that all portrays the family images of the joy that should be.
And when your reality does not represent these images suddenly the contrast feels like a deep divide. One that can never be crossed. Soon you feel isolated, alone, unseen and adrift.
When that distance between what we expect this time of year should be and our own stark reality is too great, it creates great distress.
This start contrast can be made worse by expectations.
Expectations that we have on others that for short or let us down. How our children behave. What our families should be doing. How our partner copes. What are parents should be saying. When we have expectations on others it can result in a sense of disappointment when the reality does not meet our expectations.
Expectations can also be reversed. Expectations that others have on us. To deliver the perfect meal. To have the perfect day. In the anxiety and frenzy to please others soon we find ourselves depleted.
So if you’re stuck in the treadmill of anxiety in the lead up to Christmas here are a few tips for you.
Building the base of resilience
Your ability to cope with resilience throughout the season relies on small steps in self care for your health. The pyramid base for your health involves three pillars. That is your body, mind and heart health.
For your body health: Limit your alcohol intake, ensure you have regular sleep, drink enough water and aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day. Read more tips for your body health over the festive season here
For your mind health Remain mindfully present with what’s around you without darting from past regrets or comparisons to future worries and fears. Simply being present with others by switching off devices and taking moments of mindfulness and appreciation with what is can bring you back to the reality of now rather than the mind story of what should be. Read more about mindfulness here
For your heart health Allow yourself to find what brings you joy for short moments. Painting, having a bath, dancing, cooking, writing. Taking small moments throughout this season to take care of your heart health can help build your resilience. Shining out small pieces of kindness toward others can also help your heart health. Read simple steps for heart health here
Once you have taken care of the base of your health to help you navigate with resilience then it’s time to get clear on your expect expectations.
Getting clear on your expectations and learning to let go.
- Can you loosen the group on your expectations on others? Simply allow things to be as they are without needing to fix or change and holding a small piece of gratitude for what is?
- Can you loosen your grip on needing to please others for their expectations? Simply being who you are and shining out with a kind open heart and authenticity is all that’s required in order to be present with both kindness and gratitude during this festive season.
I hope these simple ideas can help you navigate this festive season. if you are navigating grief this season know that you are not alone. Read more here
Like to learn more about developing resilience through life challenges?
Niky offer’s both online programs for women as well as her four day Rise UP retreat.