For some, the word ‘Christmas’ creates joy, holidays and fun, while for others it’s a reminder of what’s missing. Our culture teaches us that Christmas is the Silly Season. The start of celebrations and letting our hair down while we’re receiving subliminal messages to shop, spend, shop some more and think about our expenses later on.
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Somewhere along the way we’ve stepped into instant gratification of what Christmas is meant to give us instead of what Christmas has the opportunity to create. If you happen to be one of the many that are on the edge of Christmas cheer, then you’re not alone. Many of us find the Silly Season exhausting and overwhelming especially if there has been a change in the family dynamics, the loss of a family member or perhaps a breakup of a relationship. The impending days prior to Christmas can create a lot of anxiety and deep sadness.
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Many of my clients will share with me some of their fears of pretending to be happy or shopping for presents they can’t afford or want to buy. Thus the whole process of Christmas falls into a deep black hole.
There is a simple method that I share with my clients that subtly tweaks how they think and feel about a situation. If Christmas isn’t on your fantastic list and there are a lot of reasons why it creates stress in your life, I ask them to refocus.
I ask them three questions:
1. What would give them breathing space right now?
2. What would make them feel safe right in this moment?
3. If everything were going well, what would they want to do for Christmas?
This little technique, can bring you into the present moment. You are not being pulled or stressed regarding past or future events – you’re right here in this moment of your life. You’re connecting to yourself, asking a couple of questions and giving yourself the time to respond. A change has occurred in your life that has created this habit that isn’t supporting you in life. With a humble mind reset, we’re able to gently break this habit to create a more nurturing pattern.
Here are five habits that can fine-tune your Christmas Blues:
1. Sit with yourself everyday starting off with 2 minutes. Let your thoughts go anywhere they choose to and listen to them like you would a radio in the background.
2. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions for 1 minute (especially if they keep returning) whilst focusing on your breath gently as you inhale and exhale, then shake it off with a big stretch and yawn.
3. Be conscious of your self-talk. Just like with a friend if they were negative all the time, you would mention this to them. This is not about judging but nurturing your self-talk. To share love, it’s important to share it with ourselves first.
4. Write down three options of what you would like to do during your Christmas – they don’t have to be realistic however one or two real options would be beneficial. Then simply imagine each of the options in a daydream like fashion.
5. Be pro-active and make a plan If you’re missing someone special at this time, decide if being in company will make it easier for you and give yourself a timeframe of how long to be around others.
By giving yourself permission to feel and experience these emotions or sensations, you stop the internal tug of war of what you feel to what you think you should be feeling. Judgement goes out the window and acknowledgement walks in the door. Missing someone isn’t something we just get over; it’s a time in our lives where we have the opportunity to find a new sense of balance and a new way of finding stability within ourselves.
By practicing these five habits for any situation in life, you have the ability to gently change your Christmas Blues to Christmas Cheer. Whether you choose to spend time with yourself or others, you get to decide what’s best for you. Instead of the Silly Season causing turmoil, you create a space of celebration where you feel safe and more in balance of you and really isn’t that what Christmas is about?