As Christmas approaches we seem to take leave of our senses. Throwing caution to the wind, we traipse around brightly lit stores in search of table wear decorated with holly. Despite some of us being naturally prudent we spare no expense in festooning our homes with sparkly baubles and pine scented candles. I have seen people getting close to tears as the Christmas crackers they wanted had sold out.
Whatever your religious views it seems that Christmas is the time of excess and indulgence. Our larders are bursting with jars of pickles and the sense of relief when you've bagged that last net full of unshelled nuts is almost palpable. There is usually enough food in the house to last a fortnight and the bottle of Irish cream gets dragged out again in case Aunt Maud fancies a tipple.
What happens though when there are other things going on in your life which are really big and really tough emotionally? How important then are matching serviettes when your partner is terminally ill and feeling very poorly? What happens when you are bereaved and generally feeling extremely lonely? What happens if you have just lost your job and you are struggling to make ends meet? What happens if your relationship has broken down and you don't know which way to turn?Where do those matching serviettes come in order of importance now?
We can set ourselves up for a stressful time if we are so driven to try and meet what we think are other peoples expectations of us. Just think for a moment how much easier we can make things for ourselves if we prioritise what is really important to us.
I made a conscious decision some years ago that buying Christmas gifts and cards was going to stop. I told my family about it and they were positively relieved and happy to go with this. We decided as a family to have a collection instead and donate some money to Salisbury hospice. This is a practice we have continued with and it gives a warm glow of contentment that we are not going to be battling our way through the shops in a festive version of Supermarket Sweep.
I offer coaching to clients who are struggling with being stuck for whatever the reason in a miserable place. One of the things I focus on is showing them how to take control of their lives by working through what is really important and what is not. Lightening the load of obligation lessens stress and anxiety and gives relief. So if you are wondering how you can enjoy a more relaxed time this Christmas or any other time then get in touch with me.