Christmas can sometimes be a difficult time. We are constantly bombarded with imagery of happy families and people in love buying expensive gifts for each other. The sharing and caring can be difficult to see and avoiding it, near impossible. Some of us are on our own or have broken families. Some of us can just dread Christmas because it can often mean arguments and hurtful insults thrown about because the heady mix of family and festivities can just a powder keg of pain waiting to blow!
Here are some tips that may help with the season of "merriment".
1. Breathe deeply and move yourself. Go for a walk out in nature like your nearest park or creek. Try these! (I will be!)
Google and try out some meditating or mindfulness online.
Call a friend for a catch up. Invite them round to yours or arrange to go to the park if you are short on cash.
2. Also, if you don't have money but want to give presents. Make some cookies, jam, plant a succulent in a teacup and make a your Christmas cards (photos are like 13c a copy now at Officeworks!) The time and effort you put into making gifts are always appreciated by whoever is lucky enough to be worthy of your time and thought....and that IS what counts!
3. Make a list of things you want to do and that you will enjoy during the holiday season. Start stockpiling your Christmas treats ahead of the day. (Coles and Woolies reduce really expensive cheese down to 80% off sometimes cos they are at there used by date....used by date!!? on cheese!!!? Its my mission every christmas to watch out for these types of bargains! )
4. Enjoy your time alone. Treat yourself and make Christmas Day YOUR day when you eat what you want or do what you want. Watch your favourite movie, listen to your favourite music and have a private boogie, have a bubble bath, drink your favourite cocktail (non alcoholic is just as yummy and special!). And remember there is ALWAYS someone you can call if you need to chat!
5. And now for those difficult family moments....
Prepare yourself before going. Be realistic and know that there is a very good chance a barney will arise at some point from somewhere. If you are aware and vigilant you can avoid getting triggered before it happens.
Be vigilant with the amount you drink (if it is your family you are visiting, be the designated driver). Even though we think we are being rational, witty or clever, if alcohol is involve there is a real good chance we aren't!
If you find yourself embroiled in a brouhaha without knowing how you got there and can't shut it down, literally take a step down and physically take a one step to the side. Moving your body and making a conscious decision to do it will help bring you back from the tempest brewing or that is being released!
If things are getting really unpleasant - leave, make your excuses and go home and enjoy the rest of your day or night without the stress. Remember you are are not responsible for other people's baggage and the chances of you changing someone's mind about anything (this includes religion, politics and sport, folks!) are very, very small (in fact I have NEVER seen it happen!) If you are stuck there then go off for a walk and breathe and disengage. Don't come back until you know you won't start it up again. (Don't run the argument through in your head either, it doesn't help!)
While I think these are good and helpful suggestions, anyone who knows me knows I am far from successful in sidestepping a blistering, so if none of it succeeds and you do have a row, don't beat yourself up over it, the most present, calmest zen master can unravel years of work at one family gathering!!
Well folks! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing these holidays, please stay safe, look after each other and just BE...its the only state there is! xxxx