How did it happen again?
You were looking forward to this day all year, you sent the cards in time, you made an extra effort with everyone’s presents this year. You didn’t even buy any vouchers. And now? Your presents didn’t really have the desired effect – everyone thought you were trying a bit too hard and really just trying to be different. It turned out that really they liked the familiarity of your presents and it was always good to have the vouchers for the January sales. That was just the start! Discussions over cooking, housework, TV, card/ board games can quickly descend into arguments. Soon everyone is scattered across the house retreating to their own corner or just leave early.
The festive period is for some, to quote Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, ‘the best of times’ and others ‘the worst of times’. Some people bask in ‘the season of light’ and others suffer in ‘the season of darkness’. But why? What makes it different for people?
Christmas is usually the one time in the year that families and loved ones come together and this can be challenging. Add to that the commercial circus that surrounds christmas and the media messages that assume that everyone is living a conventional perfect life. Not to mention the social engagements (or lack of), the general excess and over indulgence and the uneasy pressure of not being at work! For many people the holiday period is a time they dream of to relax for months and then find themselves wishing it was over and they could return to a normal routine.
If you can identify with any of the above here are some simple tips on how to relax this christmas:
Try not to have too many expectations for yourself or for others – it usually only leads to disappointment or argument. So if you don’t get that invitation you wanted or someone doesn’t buy you the gift you wanted it won’t matter so much. You won’t have to be disappointed because you didn’t have a fixed expectation.
Don’t think too much about what other people are doing or not doing. Everyone does things differently and they each have their own merit. Comparing yourself to others can drive you crazy. Remember that nothing is perfect no matter how it looks from the outside.
The grass will always be greener – you can find contentment by accepting what you have.
Be optimistic. Having a positive attitude towards things encourages other people to have a positive attitude too. Thinking negatively can only bring out the worst in the situation or the other people around you. Give it a chance and think positively – the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t go well but at least you tried.
Take time for yourself – most of us need time for ourselves and in our normal daily routine we create this whether its at work or at home. If we deprive ourselves of this time during the holiday period then it is only natural that we might become more irritable, less patient etc Make time for yourself whether its watching a movie/reading a book alone, a short walk, a drive or even a bath. Log onto soulrefresher and learn about mediation or enjoy a laugh with Puppetji. By changing our environment we can also change our mood and shift our perspective.
Remember its a holiday not the rest of your life! If you find yourself becoming stressed or agitated, relax and try to find the positive in your situation and focus on what you have not what you don’t have – replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Project yourself into the future and how you’ll feel when its over. All thoughts and situations pass and once they’re gone we don’t usually think they were that bad!
Remember what christmas is:
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
― Calvin Coolidge
So, remember what a holiday should be:
And though you might say ‘never again’, rest assured – this time next year you’ll be in the same situation again. Why? Because they are the ones who love you.
Happy Christmas and please enjoy the Muppets!