Go gently this Christmas….

For many this time of year evokes a huge sense of overwhelm. Consumer confidence a little shook, high utility bills, unease in Ukraine, combined with the expense of Christmas, a low level of anxiety can build in the body.

On top of everything else, Christmas brings family dynamics into focus, emotions can run high: old childhood wounds, no matter how small can rear their head. Negative thoughts can latch on and fester and attract other negative thoughts, especially if you don’t have the picture postcard life and family (who does?), it is an endless cycle of the mind talking to itself.

You have to be mentally strong to weather the ‘are you set for Christmas?’ question, generally someone very organized or over zealous will use this phrase to reflect the fact they have everything done. That in your face certainty deluge is not good for the soul. It is not a competition folks! Add forced joviality and the mix can be toxic. Sometimes it is not the halls you want to deck!

Look at your diary today, are there any events or meet ups that just don’t resonate for you anymore? if so take them out, replace them with meeting someone you care about for a coffee or doing something for you, if it’s as simple as a bit of reading, Christmas present wrapping or, well, just nothing at all.

If you don’t want to participate in this loud ‘affront to the soul’, go in: it is so important to keep the essence of Christmas alive, spending quality time with friends and family and resting before the new year. In celtic culture this winter period is called the Caileach (literally translated as ‘the old woman hag’)! It is the time of the year where the weather is at its coldest and often wettest, the ground at its most barren. It almost mirrors how we all feel after the busy year coming to a halt. We have nothing left to give up.

Also go out, out into nature, walk in the cold, swim in the cold, ground yourself. No matter what is circulating in your head it can be banished with one short 5 minute swim in the sea or a brisk walk. I know you have heard it all before – but are you doing it?

The positive side is while everything is ‘gone to ground’ nature wise, it is a great time for allowing ourselves reflect and look at intentions (prefer this word to goals or resolutions) for the new year and shed that which doesn’t serve us any more. My advice, get them down onto paper in December, they will be like little seeds you can sow. (I love all of Denise Kenny Byrne’s products at the https://theheadplan.com worth a noodle for journals, financial planners, notebooks, anything for getting those thoughts down on paper). I thought journaling was naff/happy clappy/new age tripe, I did until I tried it. Purging your mind early in the morning of any niggles or worries does clear it out (the writing quality won’t make for a booker prize nominee though!)

Above all else remember to think before you ask the question judge your audience: ‘are you all set for Christmas?’ maybe switch to ‘are you getting to spend time with people you love’?

Because after all that is all that matters.