I’ve asked the lovely Hayley West to write a guest blog this month. Hayley and…
As a mum I am sure everyone has different feelings about Christmas, especially in the middle of the current pandemic. For some they may be looking forward to a quiet time, without having all the relatives over. For others they may be feeling disappointed that they may not be able to meet up with family as usual. Whatever your situation I am sure that creating a bit of calm in the chaos of 2020 will be welcome.
Grab a cuppa and pen and notebook. Sit down and take some time to ask yourself these 10 questions and note down your thoughts:
What specifically creates stress for you at Christmas?
This can vary from buying presents to tidying the house; from cooking to seeing family and friends, and often planning a lot in a short space of time can cause stress. What is it for you?
What are the consequences of that stress? / Impact?
For some, the additional stressors can leave you exhausted by the time Christmas arrives. Stress may prevent you from enjoying the run up and there may be disappointment if you’ve built the expectation up too much. Being curious about the consequences of the stress can help you to take steps to minimise it.
What are you prepared to start doing / do differently?
When we worked on these questions with my group coaching programme, The Mum Boardroom, these were their answers:
Keep on top of the housework
Stagger seeing people
Be decisive about choosing presents
Wrapping presents before Christmas Eve
Writing cards in good time
What are you prepared to stop doing?
This is an important part to consider. In the Mum Boardroom their answers were: Less social media; Less worrying; Setting too high expectations; Leaving things to the last minute; If you can’t do something, it’s not the end of the world. What about you?
How would you like to feel during the Christmas holidays?
By getting clarity and setting an intention you are activating part of your receptivity and creating new neuropathways in your brain. It will help you feel connected to the larger momentum of how you want to show up at this time.
How do you want to feel at the end of the Christmas period?
Visualising how you want to be feeling by the end of the Christmas period is useful because it will affect your daily actions. If you want to feel content and rested by the end of the holidays, rushing about cramming too much in to your day will not get you to where you want to be. What can you put in place to get you closer to where you want to be?
What word or phrase/mantra describes how you’d like to show up in the Christmas holidays?
Having a word or phrase which describes how you’d like to show up during the festive period is a great way to get your brain and actions to line up. Have a think and then write your word or mantra up somewhere visible to remind you. In The Mum Boardroom, some of their phrases were: Calm; Present & relaxed; Happy & connected; Joyful & easy going; Present; Relaxed & happy. What’s yours?
What can you do to support yourself?
Mums often tend to be the ones supporting everyone else at this busy time. What support do you need on a daily basis? How can you ensure this happens? For some people, you may need to snatch time on your own, a short walk or a bath. For others, you may need to arrange to speak to a friend so that you have some outside connection. If you need help, be brave and ask for it.
What could you gift to yourself to help you enjoy the holidays? (Something which brings you joy?)
I love this question as we often think of what to buy others…..why not buy something for yourself? May be it’s a candle to remind you of your Christmas mantra. One friend buys herself an advent calendar with cosmetics in it, another buys flowers for herself. Have a think about what would bring you joy.
How could you open up a family discussion about Christmas this year, giving everyone the opportunity to communicate their wishes?
As Christmas for most people is likely to be different in 2020, why not take the opportunity to challenge some of your traditions and try some new things? Asking everyone to share what they value at Christmas will help to keep everyone happy – you might find things go better than usual!
I think we all deserve a calm and peaceful Christmas in 2020.