7 Tips to Swerve Christmas Stress
By Susan Smalley
For so many of us Christmas is an exciting time, perhaps the only time when friends and family members find the time to come together with gifts, hugs, laughter, recalling past memories and making a few more. Gifts in abundance in sharing and loving in warm colourful homes, packed to the brim with bright twinkling lights, coloured baubles, Christmas trees, festive scents, candles, warm snuggly throws, hot piping mulled wine, ovens switched on to bake and baste, grill and thrill the guests to everyone's home. The rising shrill of singing, celebrating groups of work colleagues, friends and neighbours and children - especially the growing needs and desires of children - and what they expect Santa to deliver to them. Warm and glowing, fast and flowing, Christmas enters into December like a ballet shoe dressed in ribbons and lifts everyone up to dance and sway, entertain and play.
For some of us however, the pressures upon us to perform, produce, present, and publicise the success of Christmas to others in the outside world, may be so overwhelming. If you are like me, I love Christmas, I do my own thing, decorating the house, wrapping gifts for those who matter, and spending time with those who are close. I do not watch television, eliminating all of the bombardment of commercialism, nor do I buy a newspaper or magazines - that seem to swamp our minds with what we ought to be doing. If like me, there is no sense of having to keep up with the Jones's, or impress family, or friends with the biggest, brightest, more expensive gift ever!
I know my budget and I stick to it. There’s no denying it, I see hundreds of ideas when I venture out to do my Christmas shopping but I admire them, touch them, imagine them in the hands of my friends or family, then replace them. Having the power of self control to do so uplifts you. Try it. In the past I have gone overboard and spent an absolute fortune on expensive gifts for friends, some of whom, I would see only once or twice a year and yet, an underlying pressure to gift to them the very best of the best at Christmas time, upon me, because of the pressure of commercialism. I have gone without myself, in order to pay for exquisite treats for others, which of course gave me a great deal of pleasure, but over recent years, in my soulful maturity, my love and appreciation of those I choose to spend time with, I know lifts them and inspires them, and each kind word of support and appreciation to them, or written in a card or letter, is much more memorable than any gift I have given to them.
So, ask yourself, why are you feeling under pressure within the most stressful weeks of the year? Who is putting pressure upon you to come up with the goods? trip the light fantastic? excel in each and every way, travel out into dark, gloomy, wet days upon roads jammed packed with metal boxes upon roads, to stand and shuffle and scuttle in queues for hours and hours out of your valuable time? To seek out that 'much better' gift - 'more expensive looking' gift, to impress, to mask your stress, and inner fears of rejection, judgement, or loss of admiration, just because....
This year, one of the tasks I have set for those within my facebook group Spiritual Sofa - is to buy yourself a gift, but you must spend a limit of £5.00 - think of all the joy you can gift yourself with only one five pound note. Many things can bring a sense of wellbeing, fun, entertainment, and reassurance, that it does not have to break the bank to bring a smile to your face and within your heart.
Don't you deserve the greatest gift to yourself? Balance, gratitude, appreciation, abundance, love and respect?
You have worked hard for your money, times are critical in the world economy, people are under pressure because of social media influence upon them to create fantastic reality shows via vlogging and blogging of their projection of totally perfect lives.
Let me tell you, no one has a perfect life. No one goes unscathed. No one escapes fear, loss, grief, financial, emotional, physical pain, we all experience nuances of pressure upon us to meet another's expectations. I have discovered a balance, a way of living life that no one can steal away from me, no one can judge me, no one can pressure me into following their lead, for I am my own person. Unique, Loving, Inspiring and Embracing. Just as I know you are too, and deserve the calmness not calamity of Christmas.
How are you feeling right now, as we enter into December?
Do you feel as if you must comply with the wishes of others to attend social functions, work do's, family get togethers? Are you wanting to shut yourself away, escape the chaos of Christmas and block out the noise that all this frenzied festivities bring? Are you screaming inside with panic? Does fear grip you every time you look at your bank balance? Are you wearing a smile, yet inside harbouring pain of loss and heartache from a broken relationship? Do you feel overwhelmed and uneasy at the invitations you are dying to reject?
Step away from those words above. Detach from all recognition of panic.
You will enjoy December, you can welcome in Christmas, you do control your financial expenditure, you should make space and time for you to relax, you will go to the ball!
I know I am absolutely going to smash Christmas time, despite a packed diary, family responsibilities, emotional trauma, shock, loss and embrace it with a huge, soft, warm hug. I hug Christmas with an overwhelming sense of self-love, that I am enough, that my gifts whatever the size, or cost, will be welcomed, accepted, and appreciated.
Here a just a few tips for you to help you over the chaos of Christmas:
Create something of your own. A painting, a garment, a piece of jewellery, an illustration, a new logo design.
Keep a Gratitude Journal throughout the whole of December and write in it, each morning.
Go for a walk out in nature - to either your favourite place, or discover a new place, and own it.
Listen to your favourite music collection - perhaps tracks from some years ago, and allow those memories.
Switch off the tv, laptop and digital media device - step away from social media for three whole days.
Feed your mind. Listen to podcasts, audio books, watch educational documentaries about the planet.
Stretch your body. Learn a few new Yoga positions to ease your mind and body and establish wellbeing.
In taking your mind away from the pressures you may feel upon you in just one or two of the above tips to combat the chaos of Christmas I know you will create actions that you will carry on through the whole of 2019 too. Be mindful to bring your life into balance. Keep out of other people's business, and them out of yours. Respect your boundaries and do not restrict yourself from living a totally empowered, abundant lifestyle. There is no shame whatsoever in wishing to be private, retreating into your own space, negotiating your movements out of drama, and staying serene and calm in the joy of who you are. Your soul explores many things in silence, and enjoys the time you take to appreciate YOU. Your spirit is filled to the brim with vitality. Let yourself shine.
Be the star of your own Life.
In allowing yourself space and time away from the stress of Christmas, when you do show up to socialise you will be absolutely radiant and stun everyone with your calm presence. One gift you can give to them when you meet: Spirituality.
Have an awesome Christmas filled with inner sparkle! Celebrate the Magic within you!
Much love and blessings,
My name is Susan Smalley and I am a life discovery coach and mentor.
I'm thrilled to be here and cannot wait to get to know you better. My passion from a very young age has been for all things spiritual, from healing and crystals to meditation to one to one coaching, reiki, tuition, and mediumship. I am passionate about intuitive guidance, whether that be in relationships, work, business, family dynamics, health, heightening life demands, lack of focus or a drop in self-esteem, supporting you in transforming any of your restrictions to raise your self-confidence and align you again with the true purpose of your soul. Feel free to connect with me over in The Community or on my Spiritual Sofa on Facebook. You can also visit my website or drop me a line at www.susansmalley.co.uk