Published in Energy Voice, December 2023
The holiday season is upon us, and while it’s often considered ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, it can also be one of the most stressful and overwhelming for some, if not many. From bustling shopping malls, over-buying online, to social obligations and expectations, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of festivities, neglecting our own wellbeing in the process.
One of the biggest sources of holiday stress is the pressure to create a picture-perfect Christmas. Yet, how often does that actually happen? Consider all the stress triggers this desire for perfection brings year after year – is the chase for the ideal time worth it? Consider simplifying your expectations, step away from the ‘idyllic’ frame of mind, and instead focus on what really matters for your Christmas time. Remember, you don’t need to host a grand feast or buy extravagant gifts to make the season special; meaningful moments often come from simplicity, genuine connections, and being able to enjoy rather than worry.
Finances are also a common stress, with purchases for gifts, food, drink, activities, social gatherings, clothing and so on making this a very expensive time, with bills also arriving later in January – yet this does not have to be the case. Given the financial crisis we have been navigating through over recent years, money concerns are very much at the forefront of our thoughts. Secret Santa arrangements are becoming more common within families to help reduce money worries, as are sharing the cooking duties so that each person is contributing, not just the hosting household. Although December is here already, it’s not too late to plan how to reduce the financial impact and January bills worries.
Whether you are part of a large family or social gathering, or spending the time by yourself, consider what will bring a sense of calm, peace and a few smiles during the festive period. Try not to let others or societal influences add to the pressures and force you down a route that you don’t wish or can manage. For instance, make conscious decisions including if and when you want the tree to be put up, if you will attend the work Christmas party, how you want to spend Christmas and New Year. Make this time right for you, one that helps to also safeguard your health and wellbeing, now and the time ahead.
The true spirit of Christmas may differ for all, though is enhanced by love, kindness, gratitude, and the connections we make. By nurturing your wellbeing and embracing these practices, you can ensure that your holiday season is one that brings peace, health, and contentment.
Wishing you a happy, healthy Christmas and holiday season.