Christmas-are you ready ?
I love Christmas, some people don’t. They can find it lonely, especially if they live on their own, without family close by. Many find it a stressful time, as they worry over the cost of Christmas. For others, it’s a time of reflection, it’s nearly the end of yet another year and they start to question their lives. Maybe they are unhappy with their job, their chosen career path, or had a difficult year with relationships or family.
Or their health might not be as good as they would like it to be and they feel tired, fed up or simply can’t be bothered.
The thing is there are positive steps we can all take to tackle most of the common worries and concerns.
Money worries- there is an expectation that Christmas must cost lots of money. It can get out of control, if we are trying to keep up with other people or try to buy all the presents on the children’s wish list.
For me, it’s the getting together of family and friends, cooking and enjoying the “naughty” food, enjoying their company, sharing stories and experiences. That is the most memorable element. I still remember my favourite Christmas as an adult was having my mum, nanna and both children at the same time, playing cards or board games, the laughter and the fun, but I can’t remember who bought what presents.
Think about what is important to you. We are all different.
Agree a budget, and stick to it. It’s better to save a few pounds a week than borrow afterwards.
I know someone that saves £3.00 a day. At Christmas, he has over a £1,000.00.
If you are creative, make your own Christmas presents. If not, offer your time, or a commitment. For example, offer to do something around the house or garden. Offer to babysit for free or make dinner for a week. You get the idea.
Live within your means. It makes for a less anxious and stressful life and don’t try to compete with others. Spend what you can afford.
The definition of loneliness is “sadness because one has no friends or company and suffers feelings of depression and loneliness”.
It can affect any age, however it’s often the elderly that seem to struggle more.
So, if you do have an elderly relative or neighbour, pop in over the Christmas period, spending just twenty minutes or so, will probably make a huge difference to that person.
If you are experiencing loneliness and finding it hard to maintain contact with friends and family, then look for help and support. Start a new hobby or take up something you have enjoyed in the past.
Try your local library to find support groups, such as mum and toddler, art and crafts, dancing, slimming groups, yoga, playing cards, darts or dominoes. It can become a new focus and get you mixing with like -minded people.
It is important throughout the year and not just at Christmas to have contact with others. We are human, we are not meant to live in isolation.
Remember though, it’s your responsibility to make the most out of your life.
3.New Year resolutions
Instead of making and breaking resolutions, then feeling a failure, create new habits instead. They become easier to maintain, easier to sustain, uses less will power and will benefit you more in the long run.
So instead of saying I will lose 2 stone by February, create a new habit of eating 5-7 portions of fruit and veg or start to simply eat healthier meals, a good habit would be to eat fresh food at least 5 days a week.
Instead of joining a gym to get fitter and signing up to a year’s membership, just make a new habit of moving more, so taking stairs instead of the lift, or walking or cycling to work. Simply moving more is the aim.
Thinking about a major change, such as changing roles, moving to a new career or even under the threat of redundancy. Look at this as a challenge or opportunity.
Look at your skills, think about what do you enjoy doing, what is your favourite part of your current role, what things don’t you like. What would your ideal job be. By asking yourself all these questions, you should have an idea of what you would like to do as well as what you wouldn’t. We spend on average 92,000 hours at work, make sure you at least enjoy some of it!
4 Relationships and Family members
Not everyone is in a loving and supportive family. If Christmas is a difficult time, try to make changes that mean you spend some time with those you are close too, good friends, or other people in a similar situation.
By limiting the time spent with people who make you feel unhappy, or uncomfortable, can make it manageable.
Being able to talk about your feelings with a trusted family member or friend can help put things in perspective. There is always a compromise to be had.
Using the three C’s of “Communicate, Consult and Compromise” helped me in this situation over past years.
If you have an ongoing illness or disability or have been recently diagnosed, Christmas can be a tough time, thoughts and feelings may range from, “this could be my last one”, “I am not well enough to enjoy it”, “I don’t want anyone coming around”, “I don’t want to make others miserable.” these are all things that have been said to me or I have heard said over previous years.
So, we have a choice, we can continue down the road of these thoughts or we can decide to enjoy the time we do have left. It may be the last Christmas, we don’t know that for sure. No one does.
Limit the’ amount of time or the number of people you have around. That way you aren’t isolating yourself, but have some company that can provide a lift if you are not feeling too good. And avoid the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Putting on a smile, faking it even, will lift you, your body doesn’t recognise the difference and smiling will release more of the happy hormones.
Don’t be afraid to say what it is that you would like or prefer to happen.
Remember: Out of the 365 days in a year, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing day is only three days. 😊
Life coach-specialising in stress and self care.