Chances are, if you’re reading this then you’re busy preparing for the Christmas festivities. But is it Christmas on your terms? Or are you feeling overwhelmed trying to fit it all in and meet everyone’s expectations?
There is arguably a lot of pressure on people to prepare and produce the perfect Christmas – whatever that may mean. Unfortunately, disappointment can lie in the gap between expectation and reality, as things never really go perfectly. You can end up feeling frazzled under all the stress, and in the process of looking after everyone else, you lose sight of what you really want and need.
As we come to the end of another year, and you reflect on what your priorities are, it is so important to shape your Christmas in the way that you want it, rather than trying to live up to these mythical expectations.
You may choose to celebrate Christmas in many different ways:
- You may opt for the traditional Christmas with family, friends, gifts, tinsel and crackers. If you’re hosting then make sure to delegate some tasks rather than take it all on yourself. And take some time to relax too.
- You may be packing up the car and heading back to family somewhere in the UK or further afield.
- Or you’re getting away from it all and going on a Christmas holiday somewhere warm and sunny, or vibrant and snowy for skiing.
- You may opt for a quiet Christmas because you’ve had a tough year and just want some time out to relax – away from any pressures to be or do what other people want.
- This may be a difficult or upsetting time of year because you’ve lost someone close to you. Their absence can often be felt more keenly at Christmas, and you may need some quiet moments to reflect and connect with your feelings.
- Christmas can feel a lonely time if you don’t have friends and family to celebrate with. Again, it’s fine to step off the roundabout of expectation and give yourself permission to relax and just be.
- You may be working over the festive period, if you’re a doctor, nurse, or a shift worker. Or you may choose to give your time, rather than a gift, by volunteering for a charity to help those less fortunate than you at Christmas time.
- You may not celebrate Christmas at all, and instead take some time out on your own terms.
Whatever you choose to do, take a moment to reflect on the year that’s gone, and enjoy some time out – without the need to be perfect.
Wishing you a happy holiday season from all of us at The Awareness Centre.