Christmas- A time for Great Expectations

With Christmas approaching it is often met with very mixed emotions. Everyone ‘should’ be excited and ‘should’ be looking forward to the Christmas break. With that comes Great Expectations – from others and also, and sometimes with more pressure and demands, from ourselves.

With demands of getting everything right, getting the right presents and not disappointing people have we forgotten the essence of what Christmas is about? The expectation of getting on with everyone – sometimes with family you have hardly seen all year. Why is it expected that this will always go smoothly?

Spare a thought for those who will not be looking forward to Christmas for their own personal reasons. Maybe this is the first Christmas without a loved one. This sort of anniversary is particularly difficult when all around us are perceived to be happy.

With this in mind, maybe we should spare some time to give ourselves a special gift this Christmas. What would you really want? What would fill your heart and soul with joy? Maybe something as easy as some time – or is that easy? What could you do to relieve some of the stress of Christmas to make it a really lovely break?

So, as a suggestion – and only if it works for you – maybe you could give yourself a gift:

  • Buy yourself a beautiful candle and burn it whenever you feel everything is getting a little too stressful, reminding yourself this is just for you.
  • Wake up with an affirmation to yourself and say it 3 times to cement the sentiment. You can keep coming back to this during the day.
  • Surround yourself with an imaginary cloak when things/people are starting to get a little difficult. Put this around you and imagine yourself as safe and happy.
  • Taking yourself off for a little walk – even if it’s only for 10 minutes, the positive affects of being in nature are well documented.
  • Remember you don’t have to agree to every demand, or other peoples’ wishes, if they are not right for you. When you say ‘NO’ you are setting limits, deciding for yourself how to you wish to spend your time, what you want to devote your energy to and how much personal space you need.
  • Write a Christmas card to yourself- include your hopes for yourself this festive period, everything you’re proud of achieving over the past year, and a reminder to take some time for yourself to rest and recharge.

Don’t let the pressure of Great Expectations ruin this festive season… Whatever you do, however you celebrate, whoever you are with, remember you deserve to have a good time too.

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