As the days of December rush past, leaving us little time to pack in all the annual rituals – present buying, writing and sending cards, attending the work Christmas ‘do’- as well as trying to keep the non-Christmas side of our lives under control, it is all too easy to succumb to a bug, or feel oneself become overwhelmed with the stress and anxiety of it all. Here at The Terrace we like to gather together some tips to help survive the second half of December and on into the new year.
For many of us the rituals are all part of the season and fill us with a sense of nostalgia. For others, the rituals seem stale, lowering and unnecessary, washed away in a sea of consumer madness, bright lights and bad tempers. Money is tight, the shops are filled with things we can’t afford and don’t need. It can be difficult to cope.
If you fall into the latter category – or if Christmas holds darker memories and is a time when you battle depression- rather than avoiding it altogether, you might want to create your own ritual, one that is personal and connects you to who you are rather than joining the ‘Christmas Mad Rush’. So why not consider the following:
- Pay particular attention to what is important to you; seeing special friend(s) or spending time with one or two members of your family rather than all of them.
- Prepare a meal you enjoy, rather than feeling obliged to have turkey with all the trimmings, or create your own spiritual practise – meditation and or quiet time.
- Take time to read a book, or watch a film that interests you.
- Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into an arrangement which you know is not going to work for you. If you cannot say ‘No’ outright, say you would like some time to think about it and let the other party know a time when you will get back to them.
- Never feel guilty about saying you need to spend time alone if that is what you really want.
- Try to build an understanding of what is important and getting it right for you. When a ritual has become dead for one person it normally has for others too – naming it can be a relief and stimulate new ideas. You might be concerned about upsetting other people’s routine – but they may just be waiting for someone to take that step for them!
In getting the festive season right for you, it often gets it right for others too.