All Will Be Well: Staying Calm this Christmas
Christmas has been hanging around since Halloween and now… it’s finally here! The brilliant lights, tinselly trees, cards in the post (thanks to all my friends who sent them!), dodgy jumpers and a general sense of joie de vivre fills the air. Or not. Alongside this good feeling can be a weight of expectation; the sense of anticipation is a big part of the Christian Advent season, waiting for something special to happen, the birth of Jesus. Outside of church , there may be pressure as we try to figure out how to make Christmas as wonderful , amazing, as specialas possible. It can be overwhelming- I’ve been upset, very badly, this year as I ponder what I haven’t done, what I haven’t achieved and all sorts of negative ‘what ifs’ that have plagued me, despite the warm seasonal glow. Yet, it is when I ground myself and see the reality and ease up, I recognise this heady mix of ‘what might be-what-if-who’d-I-miss-where-am-I is all part of what makes Christmas, Christmas. In the end, the words of Julian of Norwich are never more true than at this time of year, “All will be well…“
It all Begins with You
You’re the one who knows what you have to do. Prioritise your energy levels by deciding what parties/gatherings you’ll go to. If I want to fill every waking hour with socializing, get enough quality sleep and take rest when you need to. Feeling empty, sad & uncertain are possible; most things we think of won’t ever happen. Focus on the good, the darkness is pierced by the light of reality.
Time with Friends
Make time to be with people you love to be around. Not only does having a good laugh and shaking off your troubles make you feel better, you’re reinforcing your connections with those people you value most.
Out and About
Do three things you love every day. Stay in bed a few minutes longer, dive into that book you’ve been wanting to read, meditate (try out DigiPill), enjoy a walk in the local woods (Hill of Tara will be my destination), take the dogs for a ramble. If you can’t borrow a furry friend, ask a human one, they can be just as much fun.
Mind Your Body
Take care to eat meals and drink plenty of water. If we’re surrounded with all sorts of food, it can be easy to not take enough of the right fuel in. Sit down to breakfast, munch those snacks, relish the fabulous dinner prepared by many hands, ease into supper with delicious savoury breads and nice fruits. Remember, scoop up those vegetables and super foods in between the bold stuff!
The Hot Stuff
Slowly, gently and in moderation imbibe the whiskey/beer/wine/ eggnog. Alcohol dulls the senses- which we might want for a bit- but it also impacts our decision-making ability. Take it easy.
Reminding ourselves of the good things in life is important; unless we think about what aspects of life to be thankful for, the difficult aspects can overwhelm us. For me, it helps to think about my loved ones, those very special moments that enhanced my life experiences. By bringing them to mind, I’m ‘tapping into’ those good times and recreating the positive emotions tied to those memories. Set adrift on memory bliss whenever you need…
Sometimes we can’t find nice memories or anything to be thankful about. If you need help finding these things that you have, talk to a close friend about what’s on your mind. Make contact with someone in the Samaritans, they’d love to hear what you have to say if you think you can’t talk to anyone else (1850 60 90 90 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is the time of year when if we’re fortunate, we get to be with friends and family we enjoy being with. Remembering to be ourselves, to be at peace with who we are, are how to make your experiences as good as it can be. Now is the time to restore, regenerate and reflect before moving to the promising adventures of the New Year. This is the time when you can remember the gift that you are and all you have to share with your loved ones. I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas Season.