In this post, Kate Griffiths gives you some practical tips on how to enjoy the run-up to Christmas and suggests that these tips can be used in any situation where you feel under pressure and are in danger of going into overwhelm.
In the past I have felt the pressure of the build up to Christmas. The expectation of having to be super organised at home with all that has to be done, get involved with all the myriad of children’s activities and run a business that it has been hard to enjoy Advent. This year has been markedly different and I want to share some of the reasons of that with you as it may provide some useful tips.
I started by changing the script in my head. I reminded myself that I am good at organising and whilst I am not like my Mum thinking about Christmas in October, I do have a tendency to get stuff sorted with time to spare. I also had an intention that I was going to enjoy run up to Christmas.
Another of my mantras was that finding gifts for people, which is something I enjoy was going to be easy. So far so good – my husband, who is notoriously hard to buy for, has now got presents from me and a special one from the girls that I found by chance when wondering around Hitchin town square last Saturday. I have managed to get some great online bargains by looking in specific local groups of Mums that sell stuff on that they bought by mistake etc. It is always pleasing to get a bargain. It has been quite magical the way things have come together.
Another thing that has changed is that I have bitten off bite sizes chunks. Instead of putting everything off to the last minute, I bought stuff for my brother and his wife in early November. This was helped by the fact that I knew when I was seeing my Mum and that she would be flying out to New York to spend thanksgiving with them – a great way to focus the mind. On another occasion I went to find a specific item for my Mum online and bought a few for other people whilst I was at it. That felt good.
Another thing I did was to give myself a deadline for work. I put my last workshop in the diary and made a note that after that date I would start to ease off the pedal and change the focus to Christmas. That meant that I could relax as I knew how long the focus was going to be on work and when that would change. Yesterday I had a whole day doing non-work things including an afternoon with the girls decorating ginger biscuits for the youngest to take into school. That was fun and for seven and six I think the girls did a great job!
Finally I listened to my body because it has so much wisdom. Pain comes when you nresist those signals and make yourself do it anyway. If I did not feel like writing Christmas cards or doing the Christmas letter I did not do it. I knew it would be okay and that when I felt like it I would get the tasks done. And I have more or less 😉
So what kind of situations send you into overwhelm or panic? Next time you feel you might go there why not try one of these tips.
I would love to hear what stories come up for you when you read this. If you like this do feel free to share it on your social media platform of choice.
Kate Griffiths has worked as a change consultant and coach in a range of organisations for over twenty years. She now works primarily with conscious business owners and leaders that recognise the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining what the new ways of doing business look like. She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation. She also leads mindfulness workshops and leadership programmes for business owners.