Making Christmas Fun – Perfection!
Day 4 In the series of the Christmas Countdown on getting the better of Christmas Stress.
Audio duration 6.50 Reading duration 8.00 average.
Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind
Yesterday we took a look at how we deal with difficult people or situations across the holiday period. Specifically, within family dynamics, if your experience of Christmas doesn’t always mean fun. And this can apply to friendship circles too.
I suggested a simple technique to calm down any anger or frustration maybe much more quickly than your previous experiences. And that’s because knowledge is a powerful helper.
Especially if we can all learn how to be more authentic when dealing with others and pre-plan in a ‘grown-up, loving and respectful way.’
Back to today!
Christmas fun? Ditching perfection and letting go of expectation!
“It’s like releasing those caged worry birds so that they can migrate to pastures new.”
My way or the high way! How does that work for you?
Realistically we aren’t responsible for another person’s behaviour. And to be honest, as we discovered in yesterday’s blog, he or she or even YOU may be fulfilling some old ‘well-worn’ unique patterns of the family or friendship dynamic.
Wanting to be seen as presenting the perfect Christmas for family and friends can lead to lack of sleep, self-loathing and unfair comparisons to others.
We forget that while someone may be acting as if everything is going swimmingly, they may, in fact, be suffering from self-doubt or overwhelm themselves!
A sense of duty!
Visiting particular family members can be attached to a sense of duty. Or the expectation to attend the office party the Friday before Christmas linked to the boss’s expectations or job politics.
Would you prefer to set time limits?
If this is possible, it means you’ve done your duty, and have an escape route back to something you’re looking forward to experiencing! And if the brain recognises the end game is in sight, then it can continue to calm down.
“Keep in mind that you aren’t caught in a ‘never-to-end’ cycle.”
And with some honest discussion with your loved ones NOW you could work out how to share those responsibilities and relieve some pressure.
Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect Christmas for family and friends. It’s natural for glitches to occur and can be part of the fun of Christmas.
What traditions make this period unique to you?
They may not be the same as another person. So, what if we learned to accept that people like to experience the holiday differently, and within reason allow this. (Teenagers in the house anybody?)
Memories can include laughter when something didn’t quite work out to plan because it becomes attached to the season of forgiveness and compassion.
A switch in attitude towards any bumps along the way may just allow old family tensions to disappear.
Fitting in those Christmas activities that have a significant meaning for each of you means things may not be ‘perfect,’ but everybody has a good time.
Sharing the love! – Delegation?
If you don’t have to do everything yourself then get some buy-in and delegate.
Being a part of the action as a household team makes it a team effort, and it could be a memorable part of the Christmas fun!
Don’t expect your family or friends to read your mind which means if pre-Christmas tasks are becoming overwhelming it’s okay to ask for help.
For the extroverts amongst you that could include spending time with friends and family while you share tasks like decorating, wrapping gifts, and preparing the holiday meal.
Sharing your “to do” list with others can mean that “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Even if they come home bearing a different brand of the chestnuts you usually buy! Or a 9-foot Christmas tree! (DIY skills next blog! NOT)
Back up planning
Take some time to consider the differences it could make if you also apply some thought to planning contingencies. For example, if traveling by train or on the roads close to Christmas.
And make it a year when last minute shopping is not part of the agenda, that could spoil the Christmas fun. and that includes your online shopping too.
So, let’s get planning the how, the when, the where and with who and not to forget for how long. And we can still:
Learn to relax with uncertainty.
Experiment this year; you could feel better for it. You may even find yourself having FUN.
Remember that: Things in life don’t always go as planned. If instead we make an effort to live with the uncertainty and have no expectations we may find the anxiety level can drop just that little bit more.
Adopting the attitude that no matter how things go, you’ll make the best of whatever happens, is a reasonable and more balanced way to seek to reduce the annual holiday stress levels.
Living in the moment.
Sometimes we can learn from some of our animal friends, who appear to have a natural way of living in the moment by not dwelling on past emotions or speculating about the future. (I know they don’t have to do the Christmas shop.)
They can help calm down our human emotions just by watching them having fun! Or in the case of dogs, dragging their human companions out for a Christmas walk!
I couldn’t decide between kittens or puppies! I must admit to going via Google preferences on this choice. However, there are lots of ace puppies in the snow videos out there too. Have fun! Next week and blog five is all about overindulgence, and I don’t just mean with food and alcohol! While in my final blog we take a look at taking back financial control or avenue’s you can choose if it’s spiralled out of control. Until then – thanks for reading.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety or building your confidence in finding your life purpose, I’m here to help. Click on my image to find my contact me page.