Dealing With Festive Overwhelm.

Navigate your way through the festive season like a pro!

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This time of year can be a bit of mine field in that there are so many people coming together and so many expectations of the festive and the family experience.

For some people it’s super chilled out, there’s no pressure to be anything other than yourself and you can just enjoy being in the company of loved ones. This is awesome but for others, the holiday season can feel stressful and overwhelming. 

Maybe you worry about having given good enough presents, cooking the perfect meal, keeping everyone happy and by the end of it you just feel like a big ‘ol ball of stress.

Here are four tips on dealing with the overwhelm and expectation around the festive season:

  1. Self-Care/Master your energy.

A big part of overwhelm is stress. When we envisage something being intense, difficult to navigate or exhausting, we go into survival mode and our minds work overtime trying to figure out how to gain some sense of control over the situation. 

The thing is, we’re actually creating our experience all the time so if we think that it’s going to be overwhelming and stressful, our minds try to gain control, we feel stressed, that’s the energy we bring to the experience, other people sense that energy, they react to it and it builds and builds until before you know it you’ve had another stressful Christmas.

Human beings are very sensitive to energy and when we’re around all these people who we may not usually spend so much time with, with the added pressure of having a “nice day” we can become extra sensitive, more so than usual and it makes for a tense energy that everyone can feel. 

So to avoid having this energy change your expectation of the day from being stressful and overwhelming, to being fun, flow based and relaxed. Fill your mind with those thoughts and the energy will follow accordingly. 

Self-care is super important too, what do you need in order to take the pressure off? What do you need to do to release control and just have fun? The following tips will explain how…

2. Chill out and let go of control. 

The sense of wanting to have control is normal as I mentioned above, we do that when we feel overwhelmed but it can just feed into the stress that we’re feeling.

In this state we run disaster scenarios in our minds and think things like, “I have to make sure this is done otherwise … will happen.” or “I must make sure that … is ok because she get’s very sulky if she feels like people aren’t talking to her.” or “I’ve got to get this ready by this time because if I don’t then … might happen.” 

It’s exhausting to be thinking this way all day, to take all of that responsibility on your own shoulders. 

First of all ask yourself is it true that all these bad things will happen if you don’t get x,y & z done? Can you get someone to help you out a bit? Is it your responsibility to make sure everyone is happy? Is it helpful to be a people pleaser in that way or is it more effective to lead by example, have as much fun as possible and not attach success or failure to other people’s energies? 

3. Compassion is key. 

When it comes to other people’s energy compassion really is key. Don’t take it personally if someone is being difficult or sensitive, it’s really not about you. “Reacting” to it can often just enable peoples insecurities and make them stronger. 

Having compassion for them but not making it your mission and your responsibility to make them happy is much more effective. 

Compassion here really means show them and yourself love. Instead of reacting to their energy by pandering to it or reacting in a defensive way, just show them love and show yourself love by deciding not to let their energy affect you.

4. Be accepting of people.

This really follows on from tip number three. Compassion is easiest when you remember that we’re all made from the same stuff, we’re all just a bunch of atoms in the shape of people and we all carry around fears and insecurities that can sometimes leak out into the world and onto other people.

It’s rarely, if ever actually anything to do with the other people (in this case you), it is instead just external proof of their internal environment i.e. their mindset and their belief systems and so it’s pointless to take it personally.  

It’s never our job to “fix” anyone else or change their point of view. All we can do is be as true to ourselves, as loving and accepting of ourselves and others as possible and just know that when you do that you’re creating an internal world for yourself that’s full of love, sunshine and rainbows and a that is what will leak out of you, that is what you will project out into the world and that is what will impact everyone around you. 

To sum up, ask yourself if the stuff you’re stressed out about is really worth you stressing out about it? Are you attaching your own self-worth to your being able to make every side dish imaginable, making sure everyone is happy at all times and being the worlds most perfect host? 

What would happen if you made it your priority to have a good time rather than to make everything “perfect”? What if you didn’t take it personally or feel like you have to do something about it when someone gets moody?

And just remember, if you need to take some time to chill out on your own for a bit that’s totally ok :)

I hope you have a great time, sending you much love, 

Amy xx

PS: Do you have a goal, a desire to uncover your purpose or interested in starting a new venture? Check this out!  

Amy Shefik

Happiness Coach, The Fierce Flamingo

I help people navigate their way through the challenges and expectations of being a grown up in modern society, whilst building happiness, self-worth and having more fun.