Enjoy the moment amidst this festive stress

A few thoughts on how to mange those festive stresses and unhelpful thoughts that take us away from enjoying the festive magic and spirit of Christmas.

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This time of year, brings extra activities balancing normal life with the extra Christmas concerts, parties, present buying and wrapping never mind the Christmas card list and thinking about the special Christmas food. In fact just thinking about it can start to set us off into a frenzy of thoughts.  With all this extra activity and the pressure, we add by wanting to make it extra special and get everything right we often get focused on all the things we must do and how are we going to get it done. 

Added to this when something doesn’t go to plan, i.e. the present we ordered for  your niece or elderly relative either hasn’t arrived in time for their visit or it came in the wrong colour, or when we go to the supermarket for the Christmas food and they have sold out of the thing you have every year, can if we aren’t careful send us into a panic. We feel even more stress and potentially the anxiety levels start to rise, those negative thoughts in our head start to build…….” I can’t do all this” “it’s all going wrong” “what else have I forgotten”  

You’ll be sat in your child’s concert, or out with friends,  worrying about the turkey or the present wrapping, not focusing on the magical moment that’s unfolding before you. As your attention has gone into your head thinking about all your worries and concerns. 

Let’s just take a moment and consider, can you do anything about those things at this particular time, probably not. While you’re in your head with those unhelpful thoughts your missing what’s joyful and what will help you shift your focus into a more resourceful state, having had a period of time enjoying yourself. 

Ok I get what you’re saying I hear you say but how do you stop the floods of thoughts getting in the way and the worry building? 

Here are a couple of top tips to help you enjoy the moment and not let those thoughts get in the way. 

  • Remember we all have them it’s normal 
  • In life things go wrong so accept it and let it go
  • Take a breath – I mean take a moment breathe slowly and deeply into your abdomen and follow your breath in and out for the count of 10  
  • Before you go to the joyful event give yourself permission to enjoy and forget the other stuff while you are there
  • Remind yourself what’s important – the magical moments that can be fleeting 
  • Carry a little note book and dump your worries in there and then plan a time in the day to look at these and work through how you will overcome them  
  • Ask yourself resourceful questions when you go back to the things you’ve written down – what can I do, what options are available to me, who else can help, what would ….. do to solve this. These types of questions help you find answers and solutions and move your forward rather than keeping you stuck with the worry. 

While ever we worry, we are using precious energy not achieving anything, we are often imagining things that might happen in the future, our brain worries until we pay attention and decide what to do. So, manage your thoughts rather than they manage you. Noting things down keeps them safe and reassures your brain that you will come back to them later. Freeing up space to enjoy the moment and enjoy the festive season. 

Enjoy those special festive moments - take a breath and re focus 

and thank you Castle Howard for the photo - Amazing Christmas decorations 

Julie Hickton

Managing Director , Natures Coaching Ltd

With over 25 years working with people and organisations as an executive coach, HR Director and mum, I have an excellent understanding of people and what they need to enable them to reach their full potential and have high levels of psychological wellbeing. We all have the ability to develop and grow, coaching provides an excellent opportunity to support individuals and teams achieve their aspirations and raise their levels of happiness. Interested in reading more about who I am and how I work......http://www.naturescoaching.co.uk/julie_hickton. Trained as an executive coach, therapeutic coach, team coach, thinking partner. Expertise and trained in; positive psychology, emotional intelligence, compassion and self compassion, various psychometric tools, NLP and therapeutic coaching.