Are you feeling calm in the lead up to Christmas or is it all feeling a bit much? Do you feel ready for the big day or are you rushing to the finish line? If you would you like a recipe for Christmas calm to put into your own stocking?
Christmas is traditionally a very busy time as we wrap up work for the year, socialise with friends and then get focused on creating a special day with the people we love.
That all sounds great but it can be very overwhelming as well. And with the looming threat of the Covid-19 Omicron variant the stress factor seems to be alot higher this year.
I’ve been having some very interesting conversations with family and friends this week which is what inspired this podcast. This week, particularly in Australia, as the Omicron variant rears its head it is creating a high level of uncertainty and concern for people as they move into the Christmas season.
Let me be clear I’m not touching the divisive politics of Covid-19 today. There is a real drama being played out in our collective consciousness.
What I do want to talk about here is how can we navigate through this Christmas in a calm way and in a way that is supportive for us individually and that is unifying for us as a community.
As I’ve been chatting to family and friends over the last few days what’s become clear to me is that – as usual – we cannot control or influence outside conditions but what we can do is influence how we respond to them. And we can always remember we have a choice between giving into fear or focusing on love.
So given that background how can we remain calm in this time and how can we feel good despite what’s going on in the outside world?
Four Steps to A Stress-Free Christmas – A Recipe for Christmas Calm
Today I’m wanting to share a little recipe for Christmas calm. These are four simple steps I’m taking to reduce stress this Christmas season.
1. Reduce Your Consumption of Media and Social Media
One of the first things I’m doing is to reduce my consumption of media over this holiday time. There is a lot of fear is being generated and a lot of misinformation in mainstream media and social media. I’ll still check in once a day to understand what is going on but beyond that I’m choosing to step out of that debate because I don’t feel that it’s serving me personally.
This decision is also based on my managing my own mental health. As I’ve shared before on this podcast I experienced really severe anxiety when I was younger and I choose not to go into that space again. One of the best ways for me to do that is not to get caught up in discussions about things I cannot influence.
And my dog Lucy is a perfect teacher in this space. She is completely oblivious to what is going on in the outside world and is full of joy. So if she can do that why can’t I?
2. Focus on Connection Instead of Perfection
Christmas seems to be a time of the year when we can really set ourselves very, very high standards at a time when we don’t really have time for them. For many of us we’re madly trying to wrap up work with deadlines galore, as well as trying to catch up with people while rushing to buy the perfect gifts and putting on a Christmas meal like Nigella Lawson.
All of these things together can create a very overwhelming situation. So the second part of my Christmas recipe for calm is to focus on connection over perfection.
So what that looks like for me is for me to be ok that my tree is still not up four days before Christmas and the house is not exactly the way my perfectionist inner self would like it to be. Rather I’m focused on having my family around me, cooking and enjoying some lovely food with those I love and most importantly creating some lovely memories.
I’ve also had some really great experiences with Christmas connection beyond my family this year when we hosted a Christmas street party last weekend.
It was a really great experience of connection for our little community. As I have our dog Lucy and walk her twice a day locally I see quite a few people locally. (If you’re a dog owner you know that means you get to meet a lot of other dog owners and other people coming and going in the neighbourhood). So this year we decided to hold a Christmas street party where we asked people (dog owners + non-dog owners) to bring a plate to share and a drink. It was lovely and we had a great time getting to know people we didn’t know that well. It was great to chat to people at a completely different level.
For me, this was a simple form of Christmas connection and outreach that was beyond my family. It was a great chance for community building. I think it made a difference for others as well. We found out that one of our neighbours is an avid stargazer and this week he invited us to look at the full moon through his telescope. That connection wouldn’t have happened unless we’d had the street party.
So we will definitely be doing another one next year because we saw how it brings people together. Also it can be very simple and relaxed – we did our street party in our garage and out onto our street!
The third step in my Christmas recipe for calm is gratitude. I’ve spoken a lot about the frequency of gratitude on this podcast and at Christmas time I think it’s even more important to feel gratitude for what we do have, rather than what we don’t.
This year in May my Dad transitioned. So it’s going to be a very interesting Christmas to navigate now both of my parents have passed away.
I’m conscious of this so as I enter the Christmas season I’m focusing on gratitude for what I do have vs what I don’t have, the family around me now and the beautiful memories I do have of my parents. I’m also focusing on gratitude for simple things like sunshine, plentiful food and clean air to breathe.
It really is incredible how gratitude can lift your energy and spirit. And when we are feeling better that energy ripples out to other people. I speak more about the frequency of gratitude on Ep 21 of this podcast.
4. Choose Peace – a Frequency of Allowing and Flow
There is a lot of frenetic energy around Christmas that people seem to either love or hate. I just spoke with a client who finds going to the shopping centre physically repellant. And she is not alone.
What is interesting though is that when we go into resistance and try push energy away like this it actually creates more resistance. What we resist persists.
But if we step the flow of allowing it is so much easier. Allowing something doesn’t mean you have to approve or participate at all – but it does reduce the energetic resistance that creates underlying negativity and frustration.
And when we are in allowing we can feel more neutral and peaceful and frankly I choose that any day … and especially at Christmas.
Over To You
So this is my very, very, very simple recipe for Christmas calm. I hope that there might be something in there for you.
When I look over this simple recipe I see how it is all about choosing a perspective and understanding that the things we do have influence over are our own perspective and emotional frequency. We can always choose this and when we do the science tells us it does influence others. So for me I’m choosing peace, love and calm this Christmas.
I’m also sending you much love and peace this Christmas wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Lots of love