Do you have the core skill you need to thrive through the Christmas crazy – it’s easier than you think*
Ah. Christmas. The season of “good will and peace towards men”! Yes, this is true. Yet between the festive workload that doubles your to-do list, the financial drain or family dramas pushing you to just keep your head above water can stretch your sense of good will. This, plus sensory overload of crowds, light, noise, heat – can leave us feeling tired, stressed, and not very peaceful at all!
So what can you do?
Focus on what truly matters to you*
What’s the point of Christmas, for you? What’s the point of all the busy-ness?
If you can identify your core point and sum it up in a handful of words, you will know your focus and be able to keep it at the fore-front as your guide. This will give you more stability and be at peace in the face of the stress and storms that crop up.
In the Bible, Jesus tells a story about two men – one who built his house on sand, and the other on rock. When the storms of life arose, the one who built his house on sand got washed away, whereas the other endured. Why? Because he built his house on solid foundations.
Likewise, being clear and knowing the foundations of your life, the thing(s) that is(are) absolutely crucial to you, gives you grounding and direction in the midst of life’s craziness. While most of us are looking forward to pretty lights and presents, time off and food, what is all this really about, for you?
Here’s some core value ideas, the big-picture words you can focus on (am sure you can add your own here)
Joy and gratitude
family and integrity
family, finances, stewardship
Delighting in creation or creativity
Rest and self-care
Love or nurturing - whether that looks like making an elaborate dinner for your family or running an event for your community.
What's your core value?
If you know, down to your core, that family and integrity are most important to you over this season, then the urgent demands at work can fade a little from view. You know you need to get work done because of integrity and commitment, yet you know that spending time with your family is your main purpose. The focus is set and clear choices can be made.
Or maybe your core is family, finances, stewardship and being a sane mama(self-care) – so when confronted with the need to host Christmas dinner, be free to choose a simple meal , ie, cold-meat-and-2-salads kind of spread, without apology or comparison-driven guilt. Why, because family, stewardship and being a sane mama trumps food for you and that releases a whole lot of stress, just brilliant!
So what is the point of all this activity in the big picture of life?
Its to stop, think and then think a little deeper for a few minutes more
- Who is important to you right now?
- What matters to you? At this time, in this place?
- If you were to be the recipient of a Christmas toast, what qualities would you really want them to notice about you?
- Are the things you’re planning to do aligned with your core values, the big picture thoughts?
Action space -
Take a few minutes right now
Pick up a pen and write down what shows up for you - thoughts, feelings, memories, images, whatever Christmas means to you
Then write down three to five words that sum this up for you
Stick it up somewhere to contemplate every day.
Knowing that you are stepping up and doing what matters, where and when it matters, can paradoxically help you put the other stress in its place, even though it takes time or effort away from those demanding commitments.
For a better look at how to master the Christmas crazy and make calm in the chaos, sign up to Krystyna’s Merry... Stress-mas? Advent Calendar for quick tips, ideas and exercises delivered to your inboxes every day of Advent.
Kyrstyna Kidson /The Psychologist Coach is our guest blogger.
She is married and mum to two beautiful little girls.
She is also the founder of The Paraclete Initiative.
"They left their homes, families and comfort zones, all in the name of community. They were willing to put themselves in danger for the safety of us, who they had never met and then they served in the true spirit of ‘giving"
"...these people were putting others first, before themselves. This was their motivation. They had volunteered for this service, were trained accordingly and now they were called for action – and here they were…most willingly!"