Reduce the pressure and enjoy Christmas

Happy December! What would you like for Christmas?

This year will be very different for most of us. Nevertheless many of the stresses and pressures associated with Christmas are still there and perhaps added to by trying to make sense of the Cov-id restrictions.

At this time of year I always seem to start doing something to improve the nest, rush to get things at work finished/finalised before the Big Day, spring clean my office and generally look forward to celebrating the end of the year and the beginning of the new. There's nothing like something coming to an end or a looming deadline to spur me into action.

I wonder if this harks back to the days of hibernation, rushing to put everything in order so that we could lie low during the depths of bad weather and darkness?

Have you already:

1. Written your Christmas cards,

2. Wrapped the presents,

3. Ordered the groceries,

4. Organised where you'll be and when?

If so, I salute you!

Feeling pressure or pleasure when faced with things to do is very much about how much enjoyment you associate with what you are doing. Too much pressure and you're likely to crack.

So here are my top tips for reducing the pressure, leaving more time for those things that bring you pleasure.....

1. Start with a list or mindmap of everything you think you have to do before Christmas

2. Go back through the list and ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to do this?

  • Who am I doing it for?

  • Is it a long worn habit that has reached its sell by date and could be replaced with something more fun, or done in a different way?

  • Is there someone else I could ask to do this, or some of this, for me?

  • Does it really need to be done by Christmas?

  • What impact would there be if I didn't manage to complete this?

  • Is this something I could spend less time on and achieve a result, rather than strive for perfection?

3. Let go of guilt - It's not possible to do it all. We humans have a habit of thinking that one day we'll have reached the point where we have achieved/completed everything on the list. Hmmmm - your inbox will tell you otherwise! And then, if you had nothing to do - what would you do? Ah hah, you see you've just thought of something else to do! :-)

4. Take time each day to relax. Reaching Christmas feeling completely frazzled and worn out is not the best way to enjoy the season

5. Cherish the people in your life. Find ways to connect with loved ones and create happy memories. This may mean a phone call or a virtual catch up. Is there someone you know will be alone? Making time for them is the most rewarding of gifts. Your emotional store cupboard will then be full of goodies for you to reach out to during tougher times. Far more important than clearing a few e-mails or extending a deadline

Life is by no means simple but we can make it less complicated.

Be Here Now and enjoy the present. "Don't put off living to next week, next month, next year. The only time you're ever living is in this moment"

Wishing you a joyous festive season and a happy & healthy 2021

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