Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the silly season is coming. If the shopping aisles are any indication, it has been coming since about, well, late September.
If you are anything like me, you are already starting to get family, friends and colleagues discussing Christmassy-end-of-year type events (which often involves a lot of running around) and you are wondering how you are actually supposed to fit them all in. Particularly when you can’t keep up with your normal day to day duties in the first place.
So I thought I would get in early to give you a handy hint, mantra, tip, whatever you want to call it, to help you get through the next six weeks intact. I don’t want you to have your stress response turned on the whole time and burn yourself out before Santa gets here. After all, it’s the season to be jolly, not get run down, frazzled and sick.
Not being well organised, family conflict (and trying not to start one), financial worries and also getting the myriad of other Christmas jobs done, can cause stress for many of us. So from a psychologist perspective I give you this:
You don’t have to do EVERYTHING.
And by this I mean, you actually don’t have to do everything that the Christmas season expects of you. Often we get caught up on a wave of “shoulds” and then get dumped in a tired, unhealthy mess onto Boxing Day.
For those of you who have no time to do the additional running around that Christmas calls for, delegate or outsource. Tell another family member to help out or outsource your gift buying, your gift wrapping, or your gift delivery. There are actual people out there that do this every day. This is there job. You stick to doing what you are good at, and hand it over to someone who is good at these things.
You also don’t have to go to everything. Perhaps you are one of those people that gets a gazillion function invites, but yearns to have a night off. There isn’t a rule that says that you actually have to go to them all. Go to the ones that light you up. Say no to the others. It’s actually impossible to please everyone.
If you do go out celebrating, you don’t have to eat everything and drink
everything either, just because it is there. Pace yourself. I am sure you don’t on a usual day eat three plates of dinner, and 20 cups of eggnog.
Financially, Christmas whacks us all hard. Don’t get caught up in the buying frenzy. Don’t do everything that the adverts are telling you to do. Not every kid gets fifty shiny toys and not every wife gets a diamond encrusted necklace. Don’t let the ads make you feel that you are the only one on Earth that can’t afford extravagant gifts. Do your own thing, and the people that matter will understand.
Be mindful of what YOU like to do at this time of year, not what is expected of you.
You don’t have to do everything that this season calls for.
Realistically, by Boxing Day, everyone has forgotten everything anyway. The day after Christmas you will slip into an almost amnesic state, forget how traumatic the rush was and you will partake in all the same madness again next year.