Balancing, Managing & Surviving the Christmas Season
By Daniella Princi, Psychologist
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, family and well, let’s face it- food! However, it has also become a time of stress, worry, sadness, and for some, conflict. So let’s get clear- it is not about “Time Management” or “Money Management”, but rather “Energy Management”. Where are you placing your energy? What thoughts, behaviours, choices, choices and situations are you focusing and prioritising your attention and energy on?
Time, Stress & Unhappiness
We all feel the pressure of time. As a woman or man in this day and age, our role is not simply one of maintaining a home or working and earning money. Rather, we maintain a home and have a career, manage our business and staff, and work in and on our businesses, all whilst trying to balance this with spending time with family and maintaining relationships with our partners. Add keeping fit and healthy on top of that and often the result in a feeling of ‘‘overwhelm’ and ‘burn-out’. Add to that now, buying Christmas presents, having children home and having to manage vacation care, organising family gatherings, food, holidays and the like.
Your relationship with your partner and children may have become strained and fraught with arguments. You may be intolerant of others behaviours and feel that you are failing in all areas of your life. When you are trying to please everyone else you lose touch with who you are, your behaviours change, your thought patterns change, you change; and not for the better! That is a general sense of overwhelm, frustration and unhappiness. A sense of disconnection and dissatisfaction with life.
Slow Down & Look after YOU
It is super important therefore, to invest in yourself and learn how to retrain your mind and body to relax so as to better cope with the challenges life brings you.
More and more, research is proving the power of mindfulness and the neurological benefits of implementing mindful practices on a daily basis. Rather than the over-active stress response, your body is currently living with, you can learn about the ‘Relaxation response’. This means… you need to slow down! Yes!! You heard me. Do you know that we are more clear & productive when we take time out and nurture ourselves? Hard to do when we are “on the go” constantly. However, if we do not do this- if we do not honour and nurture ourselves and our bodies- no matter who we are- we will struggle to feel true joy and happiness. We will not be able to experience our moments in a space of presence, calmness, authenticity and true wholeness.
Circle of Control
“The Circle of Control” is the idea that we can, and should, look at what is happening to us in our lives in terms of what is withinor outside of our own control. Unfortunately, when we feel overwhelmed and “out of control” it is because we usually are. We are often focused on changing or fixing things that are not within our control- we get upset, ‘worked up’, and often overwhelmed by all these things.
The cause of our unhappiness is said to be as a result of our reaction to something. When we learn to focus our energies within, through looking at the choices we make, the behaviours we undertake and the decisions we make- the sense of feeling overwhelmed and out of control suddenly turns into one of control again.
In addition to this, if you are focussing on what is in your control (you), focus too on what you doing for you.Is your “cup” full, empty or in-between? How are you feeling? Fatigued, disconnected, stressed, unfulfilled? Irritable or unmotivated? OR Happy, loving, energetic, fulfilled, compassionate? Where are you? Where would you liketo be? Whenyou feel nurtured and nourished. You will grow to be more consciously connected with your truth, your life and your purpose, and therefore you will be happier, more grounded and motivated- thereby achieving more. You will be a better person for yourself, your partner, your children, your life… and Christmas.
Be Balanced & Happy
The only thing you can control and depend on, is YOU! So, the only way you can win this battle of busy-ness, stress, panic, relationship issues, social concerns… LIFE… is to fight from within you… The most important relationship we will ever have, is the relationship we have with ourselves- it sets the tone for every other relationship you have. Once you are connecting to and nurturing yourself, the next step is balance.
Life is all about balance and managing our priorities. We cannot focus on ALL of our priorities every day, so in the spirit of “lopsided balance”, we sometimes have to prioritise something in one moment, knowing you will focus on the others at another time in the day (or even the next day!). The idea here, is it is not about “forgetting” or ignoring something, but rather knowing it will get done at another time- and not panicking that it all has to happen right now!.
So, if you want to experience a more calm, loving, fun-filled Christmas season, manage your energy! Slow down, focus only on what is in your control, and be sure to nurture yourself regularly.