Some people love all things Christmas. They can’t wait until it’s ‘acceptable’ to put up decorations, switch on the lights and root out their favourite Christmas playlists.
It’s a tricky time of year for others. Even for those who are in the first camp, the absence of loved ones can be all the more bitter, like a proportional mirror to the heightened joy.
For others (many others), he forced joviality, the monumental materialism and external expectations that result in [more] debt mean it is a season to be endured.
If you are scheduled to work – and to be away from your families – over Christmas, you might be looking forward to work with a Christmas twist (maybe slightly quieter, or at least with some fun injected into the daily stress) or you might really be wishing the days away.
My experience of working on the frontline over Christmas was that only those who really needed it sought the help of health professionals and the emergency services, so there was, for me, an enormous fulfilment in being there for people who needed us the most. What has always carried me through the holiday nonsense is remembering what it’s actually about. Being there for the most vulnerable in our society was an opportunity for me to experience directly what the season is all about – people being kind and making a real difference, recipients of kindness enjoying that difference, people giving and receiving the things that money can’t buy. Every minute in that space was a privilege for me and even though I’m not in the clinical area any more, I am grateful for the staff of today who will put on uniforms and go into work so that the rest of us are safe and well, or treated if we become ill or have an accident. If you are working over the holiday, please remember that you are often most appreciated by those who cannot tell you themselves.
If you are in the ‘Enduring the Season’ camp, remember, this too shall pass. Soon (even before Christmas Day) it will be the shortest day of the year and every day after that, if you watch carefully, each day will get a little bit longer and a little bit brighter.
Maintaining a positive and hopeful mindset might take some effort, but will be worth it. Here are some tips for getting through these weeks:
- I’ll say it again, this too shall pass. Brighter days are just ahead.
- Find something to look forward to, however small, preferably something that doesn’t cost much, or doesn’t cost anything.
- Catch up on favourite films.
- Reconnect with friends you haven’t seen all year.
- Lie in. Especially on a day when everyone else is at work. If you are doing this, put on the radio for the traffic report and snuggle back under the blankets – because you can!
- Start or keep going with a gratitude journal. Re-read your journal if you have kept one.
- Start visioning your perfect summer holiday. If you can’t afford one, vision it anyway. If you focus on the sights, sounds, smells and images you can almost feel like you are there. And maybe by doing it enough you will ‘manifest’ it into reality. Many believe this is how the universe works. Think it, imagine it and it shall be.
- Have you had your eye on some clothes or something new for the house? Watch out for this item specifically in the New Year sales.
- Spend time with children and pets. Their innocence is the perfect antidote to common worries.
- Say no when you need to. If people don’t like it, so what?
- Light a candle and look at it for a while. This is surprisingly comforting.
- Instead of a New Year’s resolution list, write out a list of all the things you will achieve in 2018. Include those that are possible, but also include those that seem impossible. “It always seems impossible until it’s done” said Nelson Mandela. You might feel sceptical, but without hard evidence that something wonderful WON’T materialise for you in 2018, you might as well take the other view – something wonderful MIGHT materialise!
Wishing you a PEACEFUL Christmas (read that again for impact!) and every success in 2018.
P.S. if coaching will help you grasp life by the ear and achieve your dreams in 2018, here is a new way to access 1:1 coaching with me (and you are the first to know!)…
I have set aside the first Wednesday of each month, starting in January 2018, for anyone who wants to book an affordable but powerful one hour coaching session with me by phone or Skype.
Experience the techniques tried and tested by the world’s top coaches and try out the transformational insights of coaching for yourself!
If you are a subscriber of my newsletter or a member of my Resilience and Leadership for Nurses and Midwives private Facebook group, you are entitled to a 15% discount off the usual cost of these sessions. The discount code is in your e-mails and also posted in the Facebook group.
Looking forward to helping you shine!