By Liz Almond, The Mindset Shifter
Are you feeling overwhelmed already just by the thought of Christmas?
With Christmas decorations up since August, Christmas music playing on the radio, every shop you go in is crammed to the brim with potential Christmas presents, food and drink, and you have Christmas cards to write, food to buy, presents to buy and wrap and several Christmas parties to attend which you don’t really want to go to, you may well be feeling overwhelmed already and its is only 11th December!
With all the hype, it can be easy to lose sight of what is important as so much expectation is built into the Christmas experience – you can easily fall into the trap of debt (as I did), comparing to other people’s experiences and feeling anxious and over whelmed. Add the dreaded Covid experience, and you may be feeling this year a bit lack of lustre, especially with the not so positive newspaper and radio announcements about what you can and can’t do, is Christmas cancelled, etc.
How to bring yourself back to the present day…..the present moment….
Remember PRESENCE rather than PRESENTS is the way forward. Being mindful about your emotions, actions and behaviour. Being PRESENT in the here and now. When we aren’t present, our mind ping pongs from the future of anxiety and into the past and all the negative past experiences we have been though resurface which make us feel worse. It is time to BREATHE… Learn how to let go of the past by breathing deeply. By practicing and being within the present moment, you will experience life more positively. You can also shift a lot of the overwhelm which you may well be feeling.
According to Dr David Hamilton in his excellent book ‘Why Woo Woo Works, ‘Breathing practices help us tap directly into important physiological processes, boosting those that are good for us and reducing those that are linked with stress.’ By connecting our three ‘brains’ our head, heart and gut together through breathing, we can made a big impact on our autogenic nervous system, which helps to calm us down and to feel less overwhelmed.
What makes us feel overwhelmed?
Look at how you are reacting in any situation about Christmas and dealing with the negative emotions which may surface as well. You may have had the unfortunate experience of losing someone or a pet close to Christmas, so your mind associates this time with it being a ‘sad’ time or you may have been brought up that everything needs to be perfect or in place for Christmas, so your expectations of how Christmas should be is a little distorted.
It is also really easy to say ‘yes’ to too many things at the lead up to Christmas, and without proper planning, before you know it, you are juggling driving your children around to their parties, buying presents, writing cards, putting up the decorations, buying Christmas food, etc which totally overwhelms you. You need to learn to say no more and to plan what would make you happy at Christmas and stick to what is achievable rather than over committing yourself. When you over commit, you start to let people down as you are exhausted and then can’t face seeing other people. This can disappoint people too and put strain on your relationships. Emotionally you will feel worse and the cycle of burnout can start to perpetuate.
What can you do to change your life now if you are feeling overwhelmed and a bit burnt out?
- Create a planner which covers from now until January. You can just print one off from Google. Now write onto the plan all the events which you want to attend or are expected to attend. Now look at each event and decide, will it bring you joy by attending the event? If it won’t, don’t attend it. You will procrastinate about attending anyway, and emotionally feel more overwhelmed. Make a decision now, not to attend. Let people know now, you won’t be attending. Tell them you are putting your health first.
- Add onto the planner, times when you are going to have time off for you. This might be a walk every day, some yoga, reading a book, what ever allows you to have some quiet time and be able to switch off. This time must go ahead. It is non-negotiable and is preferably without kids or elderly parents asking you to do something for them. It is your ‘me’ time.
- Add onto the planner, when you are going to go shopping for food or presents, plan when you will wrap presents, plan when you will post presents, etc. The more you plan, the more you will see if you are cramming too much in or not.
- Be disciplined about whether you let anything else go onto the planner. If you hear yourself saying yes to doing something else which overwhelms you, you need to say no. Your health is your priority.
- Book yourself in to learn the Balance Procedure as you can be using this self help empowerment tool to release the overwhelm so that you are no longer a pressure cooker waiting to go off. If you don’t release the emotional overload you are feeling, you will start to feel worse. The Balance Procedure is a brilliant tool you can use to change how you are feeling. If you are interested in knowing more, I offer free 20 minute taster sessions via Zoom so that you may experience it.
- Book yourself in for some pampering before Christmas – this might be a Reiki session, going to a spa for the day, having your hair done or seeing your nail technician. The key is to do something for yourself to switch off which isn’t Christmas related.
- If you are feeling stressed and anxious, then start working with a therapist like myself. Stop putting it off. I can work with people and they don’t need to tell me what has happened. I just release the negative emotion so that they feel better. Often people are holding onto tension that with a few sessions, the person can feel much better. Investing in a therapist rather than turning to drink, smoking, drugs and other bad habits is a great investment and money well spent as the therapist will be focused on helping you feel better and you will get more return on your investment.
For further ideas, you may wish to read my blog about Burnout. https://insightfulminds.co.uk/are-you-experiencing-burnout/ You may also like to use the free resources from my book Are you worth it? a spiritual guide to managing your money mindset which will also help you to release the negative feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and stress that you are experiencing. https://insightfulminds.co.uk/free-resources-for-are-you-worth-it-book/
I am available over the Christmas period, so please don’t struggle, hoping it will get better. Just get in touch –
07815 904848 or email me on email@example.com