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7 Rhagfyr 2018

Let’s not focus on ‘perfect’ this Christmas

The Christmas hype is well and truly here, it’s everywhere we go from our TV screens and town centres to our workplace celebrations and conversations.

For some, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and indeed, a well-deserved break, but for many the holidays can carry a significant amount of pressure.  

Advertising and expectations encourage us to spend more money than we have, spending time with family isn’t possible for everyone and for some it’s not always a relaxing experience.  Our peers sharing Instagram-perfect holiday photos can make ours feel less worthy of celebration.  

What about taking a step back from the hype and thinking of all the things we’re proud of ourselves for achieving this year? Think about the difficulties we might have overcome, the experiences that enriched our year or taught us valuable lessons.

Focusing on what’s really important to us over Christmas can help to alleviate some of the pressure. Think about what could help you to feel well or content over the holidays. Could it be getting a daily dose of fresh air or sneaking some time out to do a 5 minute breathing exercise on Christmas Day?  Could it be not going on social media for a while or visiting someone who might be lonely over the festive period?

We all struggle at certain times and despite appearances, Christmas can be hard for many people. It’s important to remember that there are many things that can help us to feel better over the holidays, we often just need to take some time out and think about what could work for us. 

Make a list of the top things that help you to feel better that you can use over Christmas.

Some great ideas to start with:

  • Go for a walk – notice your surroundings, be present and enjoy your local environment
  • Read – (offline!) a magazine, an article or a book are great ways to relax and switch off
  • Practice mindfulness – even a 10 minute session of mindfulness can really make a difference to how you feel, helping to dissipate stress and create a more positive outlook (apps such as Headspace and Calm have free tasters or you can use YouTube)
  • Do something kind – from offering up your seat on public transport, helping someone with their shopping, visiting a neighbour who might be lonely, acts of kindness will help others to feel inspired and help you to feel well, too.
  • Take care of something else – look after your plants, garden, fill up your bird feeders, pick up rubbish in your street – all of these can help you to connect and help us to shift our focus from ourselves to something else, naturally helping us to feel lighter.
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