Yesterday I went Christmas shopping. As per usual I saved it until the very last moment, the day before Christmas Eve, (well that was a mistake!)
As I was barged through a Mexican wave of scurrying, stressed and sweaty shoppers, I too began to panic.
You see, I’m usually a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas – I believe people tend to get so sucked in by the hype that it feels like a much bigger deal than what it is, which creates a lot of pressure.
It’s just a day really – a day when a lot of people eat the same food and follow a similar routine – but it’s only a day. Over the last few years, I’ve grown less and less keen about celebrating Christmas. I now only buy for the children in my life and I try not to stress at all.
But as I was saying, amongst the madness, I too became stressed. There were no calm shoppers out yesterday, everyone I saw was frantic, and the fright was contagious.
From what I could see, the magic of Christmas – you know where everything is supposed to look and feel sensational – just wasn’t there. The reality looked miserable and depressing.
The hype of Christmas, and the magical movies and Facebook updates that go along with it, create a very unrealistic idea about how it should be. Of course, it then becomes a big disappointment for most people.
So, if you are someone who is feeling at all sad, stressed or disappointed this year, I want to tell you not to. I want to encourage you to not be drawn in by the hype. No matter what you are doing for Christmas, whether you’re spending it with family, friends or even alone, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a day and in less than 48-hours it will be over.
Here are some ways you can get through Christmas calm and happy.
Accept It for What It Is
When I was shopping yesterday in a state of panic, somewhere in my mind, I would have been thinking about the future – panicking about what would happen if I couldn’t find everything I needed to get. Worrying about how I would survive the ordeal of the shopping mania that was all around me.
Had I stayed calm and brought my attention back to the present moment – and away from the fearful thoughts – I would have been relaxed like I usually am when I’m shopping.
Shopping isn’t stressful for me normally, it’s only with the added “Christmas” that it became a stress, which just goes to show, our perception is everything. Accept Christmas for what it is – a day. Simply remove the word “Christmas” and the stress erodes.
All of the problems and fears you might have experienced in the run up to Christmas, most definitely are from thinking too much about the future and not focusing on and accepting what is happening right now. Here are some tips for remaining present in the moment.
Forget the Day and Be Grateful for Everything in Your Life
If you’re feeling miserable about Christmas, the last thing you want is for someone to tell you to be grateful – it’s annoying, I know. But it’s necessary.
Gratitude can turn a mindset of feeling like what we have or what we are doing is not enough, to feeling like we have some incredible things going on for ourselves. It changes our perspective in an instant, turns sadness into happiness and fear into calmness.
The very act of being grateful, affirms to the Universe that we are open and happy to receiving blessings, which brings more our way. Feeling miserable, will create more misery.
So this year, instead of feeling ungrateful about the state of your Christmas day, feel grateful about all of the blessings in your life, which, I’m sure, are much more significant than just a day.
It’s OK not to Enjoy It
I got lost in the hype of it all yesterday when I was shopping. And today, I realised a few things – I’m not too keen on party food, and TV, well I just don’t get any enjoyment out of it anymore. But there I was, party nibbles in hand, Christmas movies on the box, and feeling bored and unsatisfied.
I did have to make a quick dash to the kitchen at one point during my attempt at a Christmas Eve bonanza, and when I got back, my plate of party food had been eaten up and licked clean by my dog. That’s when my Christmas bubble popped and I admitted to myself that it just isn’t for me.
Once I’d accepted that, instead of trying to be Christmassy, I decided to do what I always do on a Sunday night – work. Here I am right now, instead of getting lost in the hype, I’m getting lost in words, which gives me much more satisfaction than Christmas ever could.
So if you’re like me, and the party food and movies aren’t doing it for you, just do whatever you normally would on a Sunday evening, and I bet you’ll feel fine again.
Remember, it’s just another day. One that is exaggerated and overestimated. Stay present, be grateful and don’t get sucked in by the hype.